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3 3433 08178536 6 





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HISTORY 

OF 

RENO COUNTY 

KANSAS 

ITS PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS 

By 

SHERIDAN PLOUGHE 



With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 



VOLUME II 



ILLUSTRATED 



1917 
B. F. BOWEN & COMPANY. Inc. 

Indianapolis, Indiana. 



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\ 



THE HEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

AbTOB,LEhJOXAiND 

TILDfiN t^OUNOATlONS 

R 1931 L 



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CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I— EARLY EXPLORATIONS OF THE WEST J 33 

Opposition to Louisiana Purchase — Lewis-Clark Expedition — Major Long's 
Expedition and Noteworthy Incidents Connected with it — Other Explorers — 
Jacob Fowler's Explorations and His "Journal of Travels" — Lieutenant Wil- 
kinson. 

CHAPTER II— PHYSICAL APPEARANCE AND EARLY CONDITIONS- 42 

Conditions in Reno County Similar to Those in Other States — Characteristics 
of the Early Settlers — Lack of Transportation Facilities — Wild Geese — Wild 
Game — Buffalo Grass, a Wonderful Forage — Monotony of the Scene in Early 
Days — A Wonderful Transformation. 

CHAPTER III— THE ARKANSAS RIVER AND OTHER STREAMS- 45 

Coronado, the First Explorer of the West— Naming the Arkansas River — 
Description of the River — Explorations of Zebulon Pike — ^Jacob Fowler's 
Journeyings — Cow Creek and Some Queries Concerning It — Disastrous 
Floods — Flood Prevention Work — Straightening of the Channel — The Drain- 
age Canal — The Ninnescah and Salt Creek. 

"l CHAPTER IV— THE OSAGE INDIANS __ _ 54 

? Few Indians in Kansas After the Advent of the White Man — Osage Indians, 

Original Owners of Reno County Territory — Original Indian Claims to the 
Land — The Osage Treaties — The Osage Trust Lands — Indian Habits and 
Customs. 

^ ' CHAPTER V— THE BUFFALO 60 

^ Physical Pecularities of the American Buffalo, or Bison — The Buffalo Range 

— Probable Age of the Species — Immense Size of Herds — The Buffalo Grass 
— Condition of the Soil After the Herds Had Passed and Its Effect on 

^ Drainage — Habits of the Buffalo — Buffalo as Food — Disappearance of the 

Buffalo a Chief Cause of the Breaking Up of the Tribal Relations of the 

< Indians — Extermination of the Buffalo in the Interest of Peace — Buffalo 

^ Bones — Hide Hunters — Buffalo Wallows. 



-^ CHAPTER VI— EARLY TRAILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY 67 

O.^ The Tide of Emigration Westward After the Civil War— The Cattle Busi- 

ness — Immense Herds of Texas Cattle Driven North — Some of the Early 
Cattle Men— The Cattle Trails- The Romance of the "Trail" and the 
"Round-up." 



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CONTENTS. 

« 

CHAPTER VII— BOUNDARY LINES .. 71 

Legislative Acts of 1855, Creating Counties — Only Meager Descriptions Pos- 
sible — Descriptions Simplified by Survey of 1857 — Numerous Changes in 
County Boundaries — Creation of Reno County — C. C. Hutchinson and His 
Influence on Early Development of the Country — His Choice of a Townsite 
— Reno Given Its Present Form— Attempts to Divide the County. 

CHAPTER VIII— THE EARLY SETTLERS 76 

First Settler in Reno County — Other Earliest Settlements and Those Who 
Immediately Followed — First Settlements Along Water Courses — Early 
Game — An Indian Scare — Early Land Surveys — Many Inaccuracies — Official 
Record of the Complete Survey of Reno County. 

CHAPTER IX— SOME FIRST THINGS . 82 

First Marriage — First Birth — First Threshing Machine — First Political Con- 
vention — First Death — First Cemetery — First "Joint" Raid — First Alfalfa — 
Building of the First Silo— The Last Buffalo— Building of the Rock Island 
. Railroad — A Big Powder Explosion — ^The Water and Light Plant in Sherman 
Street, West. 

CHAPTER X— A YEAR OF DISASTER 94 

The Year 1874, a Dismal One for the Pioneers of Reno County — A Hot 
Year and Extended Drought — The Locust Scourge — The Kansas Relief 
Fund — Pioneers Refuse to Be Discouraged, and Their Ultimate Triumph. 

CHAPTER XI— ORGANIZING THE COUNTY 98 

Petition for Creation of Reno County, Its Approval By the Governor, and 
His Order for the Organization of the County — The First Election — C. C. 
Hutchinson the First Representative in the Legislature — First Election for 
County Officers — Some of These Officers — Hutchinson to be a Temperance 
Town — The Herd Law and Its Importance to the Early Settlers — Census 
Roll of Reno County, January 18, 1872. 

CHAPTER XII— TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATIONS 110 

Reno, the First Township — Creation, First Officers and Other Items of In- 
terest Concerning the Townships of Valley, Little River, Haven, Clay, 
Castleton, Center, Lincoln, Nickerson (Grant), Salt Creek, Troy, Langdon, 
Medford, Miami, Grove, North Hayes, Yoder, Grove, Loda, Hayes, Bell, 
Albion, Roscoe, Enterprise, Plevna, Huntsville, Walnut, Sylvia, Medora, Ar- 
lington and Ninnescah. 

CHAPTER XIII— POLITICAL PARTIES 124 

Reno County Settled Largely by Old Soldiers — Republican Party Dominant 
Throughout the History of the County — Relative Party Strength — The Pro- 
hibition Question — Notable Political Contest — The Largest Political Meet- 
ing Ever Held in the County — Management of Political Parties — Protest 
Against the Convention System, Resulting in the Primary Law — Present 
Political Independence of the Voters. 



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CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XIV— THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS -— 12« 

Management of the County's Finances — ^The First Board of Commissioners — 
Commissioner Districts — Notable Political Row of 1873 — Personnel of the 
Board During the Eighties — Change in the Election Laws — Pioneer Officials 
Lacked "Vision." 

CHAPTER XV— PROBATE JUDGES OF RENO COUNTY ,. 135 

An Important Office — Statistics Showing the Growth of the Office — Foreign 
Wills and Guardianships — Appointment of Administrators — Department of 
Domestic Wills — ^Adoption Cases and Juvenile Court Work — Marriage Li- 
censes — List of Probate Judges. 

. CHAPTER XVI— CLERKS OF THE DISTRICT COURT 142 

Office Noted for Long Tenure of Officials — ^Women Elected to Office — First 
Case in District Court — Separation of the Criminal and Civil Cases. 

CHAPTER XVII— COUNTY CLERKS 1 — 146 

The First County Clerk and His Successors — Growth of Office in Importance 
— Duties of the Clerk — Conviction for Embezzlement — Present Records Com- 
plete and Accurate. 

CHAPTER XVIII— COUNTY ATTORNEYS — 151 

One of the Most Important Offices in the County — Incumbents of the Office 
Since Creation of Same — Influence of the Populists — Vote Indicates Growth 
of County. 

CHAPTER XIX— REGISTER OF DEEDS 156 

The First Register of Deeds and Those Who Have Followed Him — Impor- 
tant Functions of the Office — Statistics for 1916. 

CHAPTER XX— SURVEYORS AND CORONERS .-. 160 

Strange Grouping of These Two Offices — First Surveyors of the County 
— The County Coroner and His Duties and Status — Those Who Have Held 
the Office. 

CHAPTER XXI— REPRESENTATIVES AND STATE SENATORS 165 

C. C. Hutchinson, Reno's First Representative in the Lower House — Re- 
sume of the Ensuing Elections — Rivalry Between Country and Town — State 
Senators. 

CHAPTER XXII— SOME EARLY BOND ELECTIONS 172 

Absence of Money in Early Days an Embarrassment — Small List of Personal 
Property Taxpayers — Unequality of the Burden — Bonds Necessary — Eirst 
Bond Election — The Building of Bridges and of a Court House — Road- 
making, An" Important Question — C. C. Hutchinson's Vision of Future Reno 
County. 

CHAPTER XXIII— BONDS OF THE COUNTY AND ITS SUBDIVISIONS- 177 
Early Necessity for Public Improvements — County Compelled to Borrow 
Money and Issue Bonds — Bonded Indebtedness, 1916 — Bonded Indebtedness 
of the Townships. 



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CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXIV— RENO COUNTY'S FINANCIAL MATTERS . 181 

Trouble in Providing for the Early Expenses of the County — Necessity for 
Bond Issue— Little Market Demand for the Bonds— The Tax Rolls in 1872 
— Railroad Injunction Suit Against the County Against Levying Taxes — 
Compromise With the Railrqad — Statistics Concerning the Increase in the 
Value of Taxable Property — County's Bonded Indebtedness — Office of 
County Assessor — The County's Progress. 

CHAPTER XXV— BUILDING THE MISSOURI PACIFIC 188 

Early Rivalry Between Towns for Railroads — The Wichita-Hutchinson Con- 
tention — Final Triumph of the Hutchinson Crowd in Their Efforts to Bring 
the Missouri Pacific Here. 

CHAPTER XXVI— THE HUTCHINSON & SOUTHERN RAILROAD. 193 

Originally a Union Pacific Project — Controversy Among the Projectors of 
the Road as to its Route — Its Eventual Building to Reno County — A Profit- 
able Transaction for the Promoters. 

CHAPTER XXVII— EARLY FARMING 199 

Crude Methods of the Pioneer Farmer — Importance of the Early Hay and 
Corn Market — Favorable Effect of the Herd Law — First Grist-mills — Prairie 
Fires and Their Effject on Timber Growth — Diversity in Farming — Pioneer 
"Orchards — Milk and Eggs. 

CHAPTER XXVIII— RENO COUNTY FAIRS* - 206 

The First Reno County Fair — Splendid Growth of Later Fairs — Beginning 
of th6 Present State Fair as an Institution — Its Phenomenal Success and 
Present Status. 

CHAPTER XXIX— THE GRAIN BUSINESS -_. 211 

First Grain Buyers of Reno County — Board of Trade — Present Vast Propor- 
tions of the Traffic— Flouring Mills. 

CHAPTER XXX— POSTOFFICES AND MAIL ROUTES 214 

First Overland Mail — Hutchinson a Mail Distributing Point — Star Routes — 
Postmasters in Reno County — Free Delivery in Hutchinson — Postal Receipts 
— Rural Free Delivery. 

CHAPTER XXXI— SCHOOLS, RENO COUNTY IZ'b 

Incomplete, Records of the Early Schools — Unpractical Method of Forming 
First School Districts — First District Organized in 1872 — Later Ones — Bond- 
ed Indebtedness of School Districts — Later Bond Issues — Consolidated Rural 
Schools — Rural High Schools — The Standardized School — School Statistics 
— County Superintendents — Reno County High School. 

CHAPTER XXXII— NEWSPAPERS OF THE COUNTY 237 

Reno County Fortunate in an Abundant Supply of Newspapers — Zeno Tharp, 
Optimist — First Newspaper in the County— A "Boomer" on the Job — Later 
Newspaper Developments — Some Short-lived Papers — Other Papers — News- 
papers as an Asset to the Community. 



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CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXIII— FIRST CHURCHES IN THE COUNTY 243 

First Public Religious Service in the County — Early Baptist and Methodist \ 
Societies — Congregationalist Church — The Presbyterian Church— Christian 
Church — Catholic Church — ^The Universalist Society — Church Growth Keep- 
ing Pace With the Growth of the County. 

CHAPTER XXXIV—EARLY DOCTORS OF RENO COUNTY 247 

Strenuous Lives of the Early Doctors — First Doctor in Hutchinson — Other 
Physicians Who Looked After the Health of the Pioneers — County Medical 
Society — Hospitals — The Red Cross Society. 

CHAPTER XXXV— BANKS OF RENO COUNTY . 250 

The First Bank and Other Early Financial Institutions— Other Banks Which 
Have Been Started in the County — Financial Standing of the Banks. 

CHAPTER XXXVI— THE RENO COUNTY BAR 254 

Lawyers of Reno County Men of Ability and High Character— Nature of 
Early Legal Business — Early Lawyers of Reno County — Bachelors Argue 
for Woman Suffrage — Some Presjent Members of the Bar — Younger Members 
of the Bar — Convicted Lawyer Disbarred. 

CHAPTER XXXVII— THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT 263 

Creation of the Ninth Judicial District — Counties in the Original District 
and Changes in the District Boundaries — ^Judges of the District Court. 

CHAPTER XXXVIJI— CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS IN RENO COUNTY 269 

Complete List of Union Soldiers Living in Reno County in 1890, with the 
Kumber From Each State. 

CHAPTER XXXIX— STATE MILITIA— COMPANY E 299 

First Military Company in Reno County — Indian Scare — Home Guard Com- 
pany — Organization of Company E — Roster of the Company During the 
Spanish-American War and at the Time of its Second Call to Service, in 
1916 — Machine Gun Company. 

CHAPTER XL— COMMUNITY MUSIC . _. 306r 

Social Gatherings Among the Pioneers — Music One of the Features of All 
Public Occasions — Some Pioneer Singers — An Early Music Teacher — First 
Public Concert — State Music Teachers' Association — The Musical Jubilee — 
The Municipal Band. 
« 

CHAPTER XLI— SMALLER TOWNS IN RENO COUNTY 310 

Brief Description of Nickerson, Arlington, Castleton, Haven, Partridge, Abby- 
ville, Plevna, Langdon, Medora, Buhler, Elmer, Turon. 

CHAPTER XLII— FORTY-FIVE YEARS IN RENO 316 

Phenomenal Progress of the County Since Its Organization — Comparative 
Statistics — A Brief Contrast of Conditions — Growth of the City and Villages 
—Public Utilities. 



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CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XLIII— THE BEGINNING OF HUTCHINSON 319 

C. C. Hutcliinson's Contract With the Railroad to Build a Town — Obstacles — 
Hutchinson's Presevcrance and Untiring Zeal — Beginning of the Town — 
First Buildings and Business Concerns. 

CHAPTER XLIV— HUTCHINSON, A CITY OF THE THIRD CLASS ... 324 

Incorporated as a City — First City Election — First Citj* Ordinance — First 
Boundaries — Protection From Prairie Fires — Early City Ordinances — Hitch- 
ingrpost Questions — By Way of Contrast — Various City Elections — ^Thc Sa- 
loon Question — Promotion of Public Improvements-^Census Taken — De- 
velopment of Public Utilities — Fire Protection — City Finances — Permanent 
Improvements. 

CHAPTER XLV— HUTCHINSON, A CITY OF THE SECOND CLASS - 336 

Governor Marin Proclaims Hutchinson a City of the Second Class in 1886 — 
City Divided Into Wards — Street Car Line Franchise — Aid to Railroads — City 
Elections — City Boundary Line Extended — A City Boom — Construction of a 
Sewer System — An Enterprising Editor — Council and Mayor at Outs — City 
Warrants Discounted — More Aid Granted Railroads — City Building Pur- 
chased — The Coming of Natural Gas — City Finances — Carnegie Library 
Offer Accepted — Interesting Financial Expedients — Street Paving — Drainage 
Ditch — Street Car Line Franchise — Commission Form of Government. 

CHAPTER XLVI— HUTCHINSON AS A CITY OF THE FIRST CLASS—. 350 
New Form of City Government — First Meeting of the Commissioners — 
Early Acts of the Board — Internal Improvement Bonds Ordered by Popular 
Election — Street Improvements — Move to Make Hutchinson a City of the 
First Class — The Convention Hall — Public Band Concerts — Recent City 
Elections — Automobile Parking — Sunday Closing — Further Improvements 
Ordered. 

CHAPTER XLVII— THE SALT INDUSTRY 356 

The Rock Salt Deposit in Reno County — First Knowledge and Use of Native 
Salt — Later Discovery of the Rock Salt and Quick Development of Its 
Production — ^The First Salt Plants — Expansion of the Salt Market — Yearly 
Output of the Field — Consolidation of the Industry — Log of the Drill — 
Analysis of the Brine. 

CHAPTER XLVIII— BUILDING UP THE SALT INDUSTRY 366 

Rebates on Freight Shipments — Investigation by Interstate Commerce Com- 
mission — ^Judgment Of the Commission — Healthy Growth of the Salt Busi- 
ness, which is now an Important Factor in the Business Life of the City. 

CHAPTER XLIX— LOCATING THE PACKING HOUSE 372 

Subsistence of the Boom Left Hutchinson in a Bad Way — R. M. Easley 
Makes "Ten-strike" in Contracting with Packing House to Come to Hutchin- 
son — Overcoming Many Obstacles — Tremendous Efforts of Local Commit- 
tee Finally Rewarded with Success. 



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CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER L-SODA-ASH PLANT AND STRAWBOARD WORKS 377 

First Soda-Ash Plant and Its Subsequent Development — The Strawboard 
Works— Other Industries. 

CHAPTER LX— THE SCHOOLS OF HUTCHINSON 381 

First School in Reno County and the First Teachers — School District No. 1 
Organized — Issue of Bonds for School Purposes — Gradual Growth of the 
Schools — Buildings — Complete System of Records — ^The Alumni Associa- 
tion — Superintendents of City Schools — Notable Record of Teaching Service. 

CHAPTER LII— THE Y. M. C. A. AND Y. W. C. A 486 

First Young Men's Christian Association in 1876 — Another Attempt in 1885 — 
Organi2»tion of the Present Association in 1909 — Splendid Work^ of the 
Organization and Its Present Healthy Condition — The Young Women's 
Christian Association. 

CHAPTER LIII— THE WEATHER L-._ 390 

Complete Weather Records of Reno County from January, 1874. 



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HISTORICAL INDEX 



A 

Abbyville — 

Bank - 252, 253 

Location 313 

Mail Service 224 

Name 313 

Newspaper 241 

Postmasters 218 

Schools — 230 

Railroad 313 

Albion Township , 120 

Alfalfa, First 86 

Arkansas River 45 

Arlington — 

Bank 251, 253 

Beginning of 311 

Mail Service 224 

Name 311 

Newspaper 240 

Postmasters 220, 312 

Schools -229, 312 

Townsite - 311 

Arlington Township 123 

Assessor, County 186 

Assessor's Valuations 181, 184 

B 

Bank Statistics — , 253 

Banks 250 

Baptist Church . .243, 245 

Bar, The 254 

Bench and Bar 254 

Birth, First 82 

Bond Elections, Early 172 

Bonds of School Districts 226 

Bonds of the County 172, 184 

Bones, Buffalo 65 

Booth 221 

Botindary Lines 71 

Buffalo 60 



Buffalo Bones - 65 

Buffalo Grass . 43, 60 

Buffalo, The Last 88 

Buhler— 

Bank . 252. 253 

Location •« 314 

Mail Service . 224 

Mill 213 

Newspaper . 241 

Postmasters ...— 219 

Townsite . 314 

C 

Castleton 221, 224, 252, 312 

Castleton Township Ill, 113, 245 

Catholic Church 245 

Cattle Industry 67 

Cattle Men 67 

Cemetery, First 82 

Census Roll, 1872 104 

Center Township Ill, 113, 179, 244 

Chisholm Trail SS 

Christian Church 245 

Churches, First 1 243 

Civil War Soldiers 269 

Clay Township 113, 180 

Clerks of County 9, 146 

Clerks of District Court 99, 142 

Climatology . 390 

Commissioner Districts 129 

Commissioners, County 98, 100, 129 

Community Music 306 

Company E, State Militia 299 

Congregational Church 244, 245 

Consolidated Rural Schools 228 

Coronado 45 

Coroners 99, 162 

County Assessor 186 

County Attorneys 99, 151 

County Clerks — 99, 146 



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HISTORICAL INDEX. 



County Commissioners -98, 100,129 

County Expenditures 184 

County Fairs 206 

County Finances 181 

County Medical Society ^- 249 

County Officers, First -,— ^— 'V9 

County Organized 98 

County Superintendents 100, 235 

County Surveyor 99 

Court House 174 

Cow Creek 49, 201, 327, 329 

D 

Darlow - __221, 224 

Death, First 82 

Disaster, Year of - 94 

District Court '^63 

District Court, Clerks of 99, 142 

District Court, First Case in 144 

District Court, Judges of 259, 264 

Doctors, Early 247 

Drainage Canal — 52 

E 

Early Bond Elections -, 172 

Early Conditions of County 42 

Early Explorations 33 

Early Farming 199 

Early Land Surveys 79 

E^rly Lawyers of' Reno County 255 

Early Music 306 

Early Settlers 76 

Early Trails 67 

Easley, Ralph M. 189, 238, 339, 372 

Education 225 

Elections 124 

Elmer 314 

Enterprise Township 121 

Explorations of the West -^ o3 

F 

Fairs 206 

Farming, Early 199 

Farm Statistics, Early 316 

Finances of County 181 

First Churches 243 

First Things 82 

Forty-five Years in Reno 316 



Fowler, Jacob -39, 47 

Frosts — 397 

Fruit Growing 204 

G 

Game, Wild 43 

Geese, Wild 42 

Grain Business 211 

Grant Township 110, 114, 179, 202, 245 

Grasshopper Plague 68, 94 

Grove Township 117, 119 

H 

Hamburg 219 

Haven — 
Bank 251 

Beginning of - 312 

Incorporation 313 

Mail Service 224, 312 

Mill . 213 

Name 312 

Newspapers 240, 241 

Postmasters 219 

Railroads 312 

Haven Township 111, 112 

Hayes Township 120, 180 

Herd Law -i 102, 200 

Hide Hunters 65 

High Schools, Rural 229 

Home Guards 300 

Hospitals 249 

Huntsville Township r- 121 

Hutchinson — 

A City of the Frst Class 350 

A City of the Second Class 336 

A City of the Third Class 324 

Banks '^ 250, 253 

Beginning of 319 

Boom Days 338 

Bonds 179 

Boundary Lines 337 

Board of Trade 312 

Carnegie Library 346 

Census of 1880 331 

Churches, Early 243 

City Building 343 

Commission Government 349, 351 

Convention Hall 352 

Doctors, Early 247 



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HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Hutchinson — 

Drainage Canal 52 

Early Conditions 327 

Early Events 319 

Elections .-324, 353 

Finances !._333, 334 

Fire Protection 332, 334 

Floods 51 

Free City Delivery _ 222 

Gas Franchise 334 

Grain Business 312 

Hitching Post Question 326 

Hospitols 249 

Incorporation as City 324 

Industries 339, 356, 366, m, 379 

Improvements 329 

Lawyers 255 

Library Started o44 

License Problem 328, 331 

Mail Service 214, 224 

Mills 212 

Municipal Bonds 309, 353 

Music 306 

Natural Gas 343 

Newspapers 238, 242 

Ordinances, First 324 

Packing House 339, Z72 

Postal Receipts 223 

Postmasters 217 

Public Utilities 331 

Public Improvements 329 

Railroad Aid 342 

Salt Industry 356, 366 

School Bonds 381 

Schools 381 

Sewer Construction 346 

Sidewalks Constructed Z77 

Strawboard Works J/9 

Superintendents of Schools 384 

Temperance Town 102 

Townsite 320 

Tree Planting 330 

Water Plant, Early 92 

Waterworks -. 334 

Weather 390 

Y. M. C A. 386 

y. W. C. A. 388 

Hutchinson & Arkansas River R. R. Z67 
Hutchinson & Southern Railroad.— 193 
Hutchinson, C. C, 72, 74, 75, 77, 98 
102, 105, 165, 171, 176, 247, 250. 
319, 321. 



J 

Indebtedness, Bonded, of County 178, 184 
Indebtedness of School Districts— 226 

Indian Customs 58 

Indians 54 

Indian Scares 78, 299 



Judges of Probate Court -.-99, 135, 260 
Juvenile Court Work 138 

K 
Kansas State Fair Association 209 

L 

Land Surveys, Early — ^ 79 

Langdon — 

Bank 251, 253 

Incorporation 314 

Location 314 

Mail Service 224 

Newspaper 240 

Postmasters - 220 

.Schools 230 

Langdon Township 115 

Lawsuit, First 110 

Legal Profession 254 

Lerado 222, 241 

Leslie 221 

Lewis-Clark Expedition 34 

Lincoln Township , 114 

Little River Township 111, 112, 179. 180 

Loda Township 119, 120 

Long Expedition 34 

Louisiana Purchase 34 

M 

Machine-gun Company 303 

Mail Routes 214 

\tarriage. First 82 

Marriage Licenses 139 

Medford Township 116 

Medical Profession 247 

Medical Society 249 

Medora 221, 314 

Methodist Church 243, 245 

Miami Township 117 

Military Record 269, 299 



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HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Mills, 200. 212 

Missouri Pacific Railroad 188 

Music 306 

Musical Jubilee 307 

N 

Nethcrland . 222 

Newspapers — -' 237 

Nickerson — 
Bank 252 

Beginning of 310 

Bonds — 179, 180 

Churches, Early 245 

Incorporation — 311 

Mail Service 224, 311 

Newspapers 240, 311 

Postmasters , 217 

Railroad Interests 183 

Schools 311 

Townsite 310 

Nickerson Cojlege 235 

Nickerson Township, See Grant 
Township. 

Ninnescah Creek 53 

Ninnescah Township - 123 

Ninth Judicial District 263 

North Hayes Township 117 

O 

Olcott 241 

Orchards 204 

Organization of Townships 110 

Organizing the County 98 

Osage Indians 54 

Osage Trust Lands 57 

P 
Partridge — 
Location 313 

Mail Service 224 

Name 313 

Newspaper 241 

Postmasters 218 

Railroads ol3 

Schools 230 

Physical Appearance of County 42 

Physicians, Early 247 

Pike, Zebulon 46 

Political Parties 



Press, the 327 

Pretty Prairie - 221, 224, 241, 251, 253 

Plevna — 

Bank - 252, 253 

Location 314 

Mail Service 224 

Newspaper 241 

Postmasters 218 

Schools 230 

Plevna Township 121 

Postmasters 216 

Postoffices 214 

Powder Explosion 89 

Prairie Dogs 43 

Prairie Fires 202 

Precipitation 397 

Presbyterian Church 244 

Primary Law 127 

Probate Judges 99, 135, 260 

Prohibition Question 125 

R 

Railroads -73, 88, 176, 182, 188, 193, 367 

Rainfall - ^ — 397 

Rebate Hearings 367 

Red Cross Society l 249 

Register of Deeds ^ 99, 156 

Reno Center 218 

Reno County High School 235 

Reno County Medical Society 249 

Reno Township 110, 181 

Representatives 165 

Roads 174 

Rock Island Railroad 88 

Roscoe Township 121 

Rural Free Delivery 223 

Rural High Schools 229 

Rural Schools - 228 

S 

Salt Creek 53 

Salt Creek Township 115, 116 

Salt Creek Village 218 

Salt Industry 356, 366 

School Districts 225 

School Statistics 231 

Schools 225 

Senators, State 170 

Settlement of the County 76 



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HISTORICAL INDEX. 



SheriflE 99 

Silo, First — 87 

Spanish-American War 301 

Standardized Schools 230 

Star Mail Routes 214 

State Fair 207 

State Militia 299 

State Senators 170 

State Tax 184 

Streams , 45 

Sumner Township 119 

Superintendents of County Schools 

- - 110, 235 

Surveys, Early 79 

Sylvia City — 

Bank 251, 252, 253 

Bonds 180 

Mail Service 224 

Mill 213 

Newspapers 240, 241 

Postmasters - 217 

Sylvia Township 122 

T 

Temperature 390 

Tharp, Zeno ^ 115, 116, 237 

Threshing Machine, First 82 

Toivnship Organizations 110 

Towns of Reno County 310 

Trails, Early 67 

Treasurer y9 

Treaties with Indians 55 

Troy Township 115, 116 



Turon — 

Bank - - 251 

Location 314 

Mail Service 224 

. Mill 213 

Name . — 315 

Postmasters — 220 

Townsite 315 

U 
Universalist Church ., 246 

V 

Valley Township 111, 202 

Valuations - 181, 184 

Veterans of Civil War in Reno 209 

W 

Walnut Township 122 

Water and Light Plant, Early — 92 

Weather Records 390 

Wild Game 1 , '43 

Wild Geese 42 

Wilkinson, Lieutenant 41 

World War 303 

Y 
Yoder 219 

Yoder Township ^- 117 

Z 
Zenith 217 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



Abel. Josiah W 274 

Aclmorc, Martin A 491 

Akin, Rev. Dudley D., D.D 322 

AUmon, ' Elfoert O » 382 

Anderson^ Joel M 208 

Armour, Thomas G.— , 101 

Ash, Fred W. 461 

Asher, Arthur E 62 

Astle, George 252 

B 

Bailey, J. N 775 

Bailey,. Joe F 457 

Bain, Millard F 661 

Ballard, Benjamin F 511 

Bangs, Merwin B 243 

Barr. Walter G 757 

Barrett, George 232 

Barrett, M. L 623 

Barrett, Nelson T 183 

Barton, Edward E 760 

Bay, C M 528 

Bay, Clyde 740 

Bay, Delmar E 507 

Bear, Arthur M 439 

Beck, Konrad C 517 

Bennett, Capt. William R 296 

Bigger, Leander A 714 

Bixler, Thurman J.- 282 

Bloom, Charles 144 

— 263 

527 

- 196 

160 

162 

192 



Boehm, John J 

Bonnet, Lee 

Bowman, Eli 

Bowser, George R 

Bowser, Lemon 

Brainard, Capt. Jesse 

Branch, Charles M 55 

Branine, Judge Charles E 36 

Brewer, Eliher L 271 



Brown, Harlow B .. 764 

Brown, Morrison H 291 

Brown, William A 303 

Buettner, J. H - 550 

Burgess, William H 387 

Burris, Martin ^^ 256 

Buscr, Atlee M. 1 626 

Bush, Charles H 405 

Bush, James M ; 1 659 

Buskirk, James E 639 

Bussinger, Martin C 72 

Byers, O. P 697 

C 

Cain, Morris R 614 

Calbert, Robert E. L 747 

Campbell, John H 283 

Campbell, John W —378 

Cantwell, George W 674 

Carey, Hon. Emerson - 33 

Carpenter, Fred H 275 

Carr, William E 217 

Carson, William F . 121 

Catte, Joseph 371 

Chamberlain, Grant 486 

Chapin, Cornelius O 368 

Chubbuck. Willis J.- 530 

Citizens Bank of Hutchinson, The. 54 

Claybaugh, C W 3^7 

Clothier, J. B 568 

Coffman, Capt. George T 560 

Coleman, Lewis W. 429 

Coleman, Monroe 389 

Collingwoo^ J. M 768 

Collingwood, John A._l 681 

Collingwood, Mrs. Mary 748 

Comes, John W 384 

Cone, William R., D.D.S 203 

Conkling, Charles A.«- 707 

Connelly, William M 470 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



Cook, Fred W., D.V.S. 52 

Cook, J. W 776 

Cooper, S. Leslie * 774 

Cooter, Fred W ^ 117 

Cooter, George W : 264' 

Copeland, Cornelius B 418" 

Cost, Frank H — 684 

Crabbs, Abraham B 366 

Crawley, William P 720 

Crotts, Samuel M 588 

Crow, Edward G. - 719 

Crow, George L._-- ^ 277 

Crow, William R— 32p 

Curnutt, Henry G :i 15.1 

D 

Dade, Arthur __._ 174 

Dade, Ernest 546 

Dade, Richard G ——--___ 65fe 

Danford, E. F._ . .._. 632! 

Danford, Isaiah J 221' 

Danford, Louis P _ 728 

Davies, John M 245 

Dean, Albert A ._ 7p3 

Deatz, A. J 586 

Deck, Peter ... 373 

Decker, Thomas J ^._ ^0. 

Difk, James L 478 

billon, Franklin E 267' 

Dixon, Albert P 215 

Dunn, George W 493 

Dunn, F. M 489 

Dunsworth, Buckner W 383 

Duvall, Hunter J., M.D. J 562 

E 

Eastman, Byron A.____l * 723 

Eastman, Wilbur B 570 

Elliott, Alpheus E. 272 

Ellis, Peres i 424 

Erk*er, George A 730 

Eskelson, Swan 155 

Everett, EJmer 536 

F 

Fairchild, William G !_._ 85 

Fall, George T.-._ 624 

Farley, Joseph P 218 



Farrell, Rev. William M.. 

Farthing, Peter R 

Farthing, Sylvester 

Fearl, Frank E 

Eecgus6n, James E.JJ 

•Fcrnie, George K 

Field, Hon. F. C 

Firebaugh, Frank F 

Fontron Family, The 

Forsha, Fred A 

Fountain, Albert S.. M.D.. 
Fraser, Thomas J 



Gantz, George R .iL- 

Ga'ston, Samuel D. j. 

Gibson, . Charles i 

Giles, Benjamin E 

Glass, John W. ^^^- 

Graham, Robert J 

Gray, George T 

Graybill, Samuel S 

Grayson, John W.-_ 

Green, James . 

Guymon, Edward T w 



H 



Hadley, Levi P 

Hall, Justus 0._-_ 

Hall, Ross E 

Hamilton, Frank D 

Handy, Edward S 

Harden, Albert E 

Hardy, Noah 

Harms, Henry W 

Harris, Walter B. 

Harsha, John P 

Hartford, Col. Henk-y— . 

Hartmann, Henry P 

Harvey, Royal M 

Haston,. James 

Haston, Samuel 

Hedrick, Capt. John M.. 

Herr, J, Nevon 

Herren, Isaac W 

Hershberger, Randall P.. 

Hiatt, Charles E . 

Hickey, John 

Hickman, Overton 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX: 



Hickman, William H. H. r...— 6Jl 

Hill, Harrison A . 410 

Hinds, David H 667 ' 

Hinroan, Milton E 709 

Hinshaw, William H 584 

Hit-st, Frederick 1 119 

Hirsti George . '.. 80 

Hirst, William i-.J. V6 ' 

Hitchcock, Charles O 361 

Hoagland, Ben S :, 575 

Hoagland, Lieut. Martin 396 

Hodge, L. D 503 

Hodgson, Herbert C 314 

Hodgson, William 336 

Hodgson, William L. 519 

Holaday, Harry E., D.V.S 734 

Holdeman, A. R . . 783 

Hornbaker, Finley D. 504 

Hoskinson, George W *— _ 348 ' 

Housiriger, Nicholas - 743 

Howell, Ed G - 409 

Htickleberiry, Andrew J., Jr 157 

Hudson, William L ^ 380 

Hurd, E. R = 630 

Hutton, Emmett - 259 

Hutton & Oswald ^^— _-l_« 258 

Hutton, Samuel F : . 606 

J 

Jennings, Thomas 583 

Jessup, Barclay L 319 

Jewell, Warren D 593 

Johnson, Arthur W 428 

Johnson, Jesse W..^ 675 

Johnson, William H 451 

Jones, Peter C 182 

Jones, Robert S * 596 

Jones, Walter F 543 

Justice, Richard 581 

Justus, J. F 771 

* K 

Kautzer, John D 342 

Kellams, James C 431 

Kclling, Henry 415 

Kennedy, Thomas K 1 498 

King, David H ._ 616 

King, Joseph W 646 

Klein, Frank F 712 



Koontz, George M.»-.l :.- .'. - 364 

Kroeker, George T — .1 464 

L 

Lambert, Charles A 315 

Larabee, Frederick D 602 

Layman, Roscoe C 'i.^1 ' 308 

Leatherman, William A Ji___^^ 508 

Lee, George W -—J 416^ 

Leighty, Stephen S — jU76 

Leonrod, George von, M.D.-.i_-_._ 640 

Leslie, John F J 628 

Loe, William A._ .- -__-472' 

Long, William E.-.ii J. ji- W^^ 

Lovelace, James R '_• l---::j_: 500 ' 

Mc 

McCandless,' Archibald W.— ...-..-- 59?' 

McCowan, Samuel . 350 

McDermed, Frank M 1 2^3 

McDermed, Robert F. .1 566 

Mcllrath. James H 688 

McKeown, B. '_^i^__- 677 

McKinstry, James : '. 553 

McLaughlin, T. R. i:_-„ u 280 

McLeod, Hector K ^^-i._--___ul-' ilO 

McMurry, James F __:—_— 136 

M 

Mackay, James B. 54 

Magwire, Frank 240 

Markham, John J 434 

Marshall, Elmer E 657 

>fartin,. Edward T. 351 

Martin, Frank A 402 

Martin, Hon. Frank L 331 

Mastellar, D. H — 607 

Meyer, Dietrich 488 

Meyer, Eugene L 39 

Miller, Clark C 732 

Miller, Eugene T IZl 

Miller, William^ H 249 

Mills, James 317 

Mitchell, Hon. William H 48 

Moore, David A 579 

Moore, Rev. Daniel M., D.D 67 

Moore, Marcellus 236 

Morgan, Hon. William Y 440 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



Mourn, George W 165 

Mneller. William. Jr. 325 

Myers, Dr. James 1^ 

Myers, John A 224 

N 

Nafzinger, John 532 

Nation^ Pet l(i 

Neeley, Hon. George A 44 

Nelson, James 432 

Nelson, John W 6(H 

Nelson. Peter A 211 

Nettleton. Adelbert M 229 

Neuensch wander, Henry 154 

Nicholson, George 426 

O 

Obee, Louis H 548 

Olmstead, Oscar W 175 

Oswald, Charley W 258 

P 

Parish, James W 375 

Payne, Walter W — 699 

Pearson, William 148 

Peckham, Charles W 352 

Peirce, Walter C 344 

Penney, James L 131 

Pennington, William R _ 544 

Peterson, Arthur F 339 

Peterson, Charles 340 

Ploughe, Sheridan 752 

Potter, James C 617 

Potter, John W 678 

Potter, Martin H 635 

Poulton, Irvin W 448 

Presby, Wilbur F „ 634 

Price, Rhys R 762 

Priddle, Vincent 171 

Prigg, Hon. Frank F 557 

Puterbaugh, Samuel G 70 

R 

Rabe, Henry 620 

Ramsey, Herbert E 223 

Rayl, Levi - 482 

Ream, William B 413 

Reed, John A 92 



Reichenberger, Nicholas 745 

Reynolds, Mclvin J 140 

Rexroad, William W 310 

Rice, Thomas J 376 

Richhart, David E .-. 115 

Rickenbrode. Harvey J 460 

Roberts. Pierce C 126 

Rowland. John 683 

Rowland, Prof. Stewart P : 86 

Rtftherford; ' Gordon S. 642 

Ryker, Charles A — 60 

Sallee, Garrett 167 

Sanders, John R. 407 

Scales, Herbert L., M.D. 559 

Schardein, Fred 199 

Schardein, John 181 

Scheble, Alfred R 515 

Schlaudt, Arthur H 447 

Schmitt, E. B. — ._. 294 

Schoonover, John U 608 

SecdlCj Charles 172 

Shafer, Omaha T. 653 

Shea, Patrick 456 

Shircliff, Edward E 592 

Shive, Eads E 741 

Short, George B. 164 

Shuler, William D 99 

Shuyler, John S 578 

Sidlinger^ Samuel H., M.D 41 

Siegrist, Arthur L.. 231 

Siegrist, George W.^ 524 

Siegrist, Jacob L 328 

Simmons, John S 98 

Skeen, Mrs. Elizabeth 400 

Slavens, Oscar R. 576 

Smith, Charles H 686 

Smith, E. B., A.M 706 

Smith, Fay 467 

Smith, Isaac , 254 

Smith, James W 228 

Smith, John F.__ 522 

Smith, Parke - 292 

Smith, Wilson 142 

Snyder, Charles M 539 

Specht, Robert T., Jr 443 

Spencer, Orlando 770 

Spencer, Ornaldo 770 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX, 



Sponslcr, Alfred L 304 

Sponslcr, William J 564 

Spront, John r— 772 

Sprout, James H 459 

Stecher, Christian 480 

Stevens, Nelson P 701 

Stevens, Rev. William B 454 

Stewart, Richard A., M.D 767 

Streeter, Ray G , 534 

Suter, Arthur H 123 

Swarens, Albert L 168 

Switzer, Alexander M l — 392 

T 

Taylor, Carr W 444 

Taylor, Harry H — 124 

Teed, Edson L 465 

Thacher, Mowry S., M.D 679 

Thompson, Henry S. 669 

Thompson, Will S 479 

Thorp, Fred W 220 

Thurman, J. S 247 

Turbush, George 159 

U 
Updci;rove, Jacob B 347 

V 

Van Eman, William J 234 

Vincent, Hon. Frank ^ 500 



W 

Waddles, Howard 1 753 

Wagoner, Charles E. 128 

Wall, David L 690 

Wall, Mrs. Henrietta Briggs 692 

Watson, Lawson 663 

Weesner, Fred 391 

Wells, Charles A 755 

Wespe, Oscar S 600 

Wheeler, J. O 143 

Wfeinery, Lorenzo V — 648 

Whiteside, Houston 205 

Wiley, Francis M 665 

Wiley, Vernon M 475 

Williams, Judge Charles M 190 

Williams, Walter F 758 

Winchester, Charles S 513 

Winsor, George R. 453 

Withroder, John 638 

WittorflF, John 643 

Wolcott, Frank D 704 

Wooddell, Charles N 652 

Woods, Mrs. Mary M. (Lippitt) 736 

Y 

Yaggy, Edward E 1 — 88 

Young, Jacob A 118 

Yust, George H 420 

Z 

Zimmerman, George ^- 238 

Zimmerman, John S 474 



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BIOGRAPHICAL 



HON. EMERSON CAREY. . . 

The natural limitations^ of a review of this character prevent anything 
like an exhaustive or complete record of the various enterprises with which 
the Hon, Emerson -Garey, of Hutchinson, this county, is connected; neither 
can there be set out here in detail the history of the present status of these 
industries or a detailed account of the very considerable improvement and 
extensive new works that have been brought into operation within- the past 
few years. The Carey industries really comprise four distinct indu-stries, 
each one being magnitudinal in its individual capacity and scope. The salt 
plants have a capacity of two thousand barrels a day and are the only plants 
of the kind in the world equipped with a quadruple-effect vacuum system for 
the manufacture of salt. The ice plant has a capacity of eighty-five tons a 
day, and there is a cold-storage space of over half a million cubic feet. The 
cold-storage plant is equipped with triplicate machinery throughout the whole 
system., as a sure safeguard in case of a breakdown. By a new process the 
salt is manufactured in enclosed vessels, which are absolutely dust proof, and 
no chemicals whatever are used to whiten or purify it. The grain is abso- 
lutely uniform and during no part of the process of manufacture is it touched 
by hand. The hundreds of barrels of salt that roll out of the city of Hutch- 
inson daily on long freight trains, tell a tale of industry that no rhetoric can 
match.^ The history of the Garey industries is a record of development and 
expansion, one of the most interesting in the industrial annals of Kansas. 
As it is commonly said in Hutchinson that Emerson Carey is the Garey 
industries personified, • it will be interesting to the reader to note at this 
point some of the salient points in the career of that energetic captain of 
industry. 

Emerson Carey was born on a farm in Grant county, Indiana, on 
January 22, 1863, son of Samuel and Nancy J. (Bundy)* Carey, both natives 
of that same county, the former of whom was born on July 28, 1839, and 
the latter, April 15, 1842. Samuel Carey was the son of Robert ^nd Susan 
Garey, pioneer residents of Grant county, who with their children and the 

(3a) 



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34 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

various members of the latters' families emigrated in 1868 to Shelby county, 
Illinois, where the remainder of their lives were spent. Nancy J. Bundy 
was the daughter of Talbot and Jane Bundy, also pioneer residents of Grant 
county, who, about the year 1865, emigrated to Champaign county, Illinois, 
where they also resided the rest of their lives. 

Samuel Carey was reared amid pioneer conditions in his early Indiana 
home and was married before he and the other members of the family moved 
over, into Illinois. He was possessed of the true instinct of the frontiers- 
man and after reaching Illinois, kept moving farther westward as advancing 
settlements encroached on his pioneer locations, it having be^n his custom to 
get a farm under cultivation, sell it and move on. Before coming to Kansas 
he had thus made his home, successively, in Shelby, Douglas and Vermilion 
counties, in Illinois, clearing up farms; his son, Emerson, sharing in all the 
vicissitudes of these numerous advances toward the continually receding 
frontier. In 1878, Samuel Carey came to this state and took up a tract of 
government land in the Sterling neighborhood of Rice county, from which 
he presently moved to McPherson county and thence, in 1880, came to Reno 
county and rented a considerable tract of land on the edge of the flourishing 
village of Hutchinson, at that time virgin prairie, in what is now known as 
the Sunflower addition to the city of Hutchinson, and for a time engaged 
in farming there. He then became associated with his son, Emerson, in the 
coal and building-supply business and later assisted in the organization of 
the Carey Salt Company and in other ways became a prominent factor in the 
development of the industrial life of Hutchinson. Samuel Carey was by 
birthright a Quaker, but after his marriage he joined the Methodist church, 
in conformance with his wife's faith, and in this faith their children were 
reared. There were fourteen of these children, as follow: Almeda, who 
married P. M. Gratton and lives at Kenton, Kansas; Marrietta, who mar- 
ried Charles Nelson and lives in Hutchinson, this county; Emerson, the 
immediate subject of this biographical review; Susan (deceased), who mar- 
ried Ethan Thomas; Arthur, who lives in Hutchinson; Elizabeth, who mar- 
ried Isaac Palmer and lives at Halstead, Kansas; Emma, who married Burrett 
Hanks and lives near Sterling, Kansas; Bertha, who married Harvey Craw- 
ford and lives at Stafford, Kansas; Rosa, who married James Kirk, and 
lives in Texas ; Edith, who married S. Allen Winchester and lives in Hutchin- 
son ; Eva, who married Waverly S. Albright and lives in Hutchinson ; Maud, 
who married Dr. J. J. Brownlee, of Hutchinson ; Claude, who lives in Cali- 
fornia, and Albert, who died in infancy. Samuel Carey died at Hutchinson 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 35 

on March 9, 1905. His wife had preceded him to the grave about ten years, 
her death having occurred on July 2, 1896. 

Emerson Carey was five years of age when his parents left Indiana 
and was fifteen years of age when they entered Kansas in 1878. He had 
acquired some schooling in Illinois and upon coming to Kansas attended 
school at Sterling one winter. The next winter he attended a district school 
in McPherson county and the next winter he entered the schools at Hutchin- 
son, he being then seventeen years of age. For the first three years after 
coming to this county he assisted his father on the farm and then for two 
years he worked in Hutchinson for Mr. Hale, who was engaged in the retail 
coal business. In 1885 he started in the retail coal and building supplies 
business on his own account, under the firm style of Conn & Carey. A 
short time later the firm became Carey, Beers & Lee and thus continued 
until 1890, in which year Mr. Carey took over the business alone and so 
continued until 1910, in which year he closed it out. In the meantime, in 
1896, Mr. Carey had organized the Hutchinson Ice Company, which com- 
pany is still doing business and supplies most of the ice for that city. In 
T900, in connection with the operation of his ice plant, Mr. Carey started 
the Carey Salt Company, which began operations in a small way, but which 
has gradufilly grown to its present enormous proportions, with a producing 
capacity of two thousand barrels a day, one of the most important industries 
in central Kansas. A man of indefatigable industry and boundless energy, 
Mr. Carey became interested in various other enterprises as the time passed 
and has become one of the most important factors in the industrial develop- 
ment of this section of the state. He was one of the chief organizers, chief 
owner and first president of the Hutchinson Interurban Railway Company; 
helped organize and was president of the Kansas Chemical Manufacturing 
Company of Hutchinson, and is also president of the Grand Saline Salt 
Company, of Texas. 

On September 26, 1888, Emerson Carey was united in marriage to Anna 
M. Puterbaugh, who was bom near Mackinaw, Illinois, daughter of John 
and Olive Puterbaugh, who were among the earliest pioneers to settle in 
Harvey county, Kansas. They located at Newton in 1873, where for years 
Mr. Puterbaugh was engaged in the real-estate business. In 1885 they 
moved to Hutchinson, where Mr. and Mrs. Puterbaugh spent their last days, 
the death of the former occurring in 1888 and that of the latter in 191 1. 

To Emerson and Anna M. (Puterbaugh) Carey four children have been 
born, namely: Horbard J., bom in 1892, a graduate of Comell University, 
who assists his father in the management of the Carey Salt Company, mar- 



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36 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

ried Louise Banks, of. Ithaca, New. York, and lives on North. Main. .street in 
Hutchinson; Charles E., 1894, for three years a student at Cornell, mar- 
ried Alice Degnan.. of Jersey City, New Jersey^ and assists his father in 
superintending the Carey industries ; William, 1902, and Emerson, Jr., 1906. 
Mr. and Mrs. Carey are members of , the Christian church and are active in 
all good, works in and abput Hutchinspn. After, his marriage in 1888 Mr. 
Carey built a home in the. eleven hundred block on Main street and in 1898 
located at his present beautiful home at 821 North. Main street, a home widely 
known for its cordial hospitality. . 

Mr. Carey is a Republican and in 1908 was elected to represent this 
district in the state Senate and was re-elected in 1912. He has never been 
a candidate for any other public office. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, 
a member of the blue lodge and the commandery at Hutchinson and the con- 
sistory at Wichita. He also is a member of the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen. 



JUDGE CHARLES E. BRANINE. 

Few names in the long list of judges and lawyers who have so notably 
served the people of Kansas during the past generation are better known 
or held in higher regard by the people generally throughout this section of 
the state than is that of the Hon. Charles E. Branine, a prominent attorney 
of Hutchinson, this county, and former judge of the ninth Kansas judicial 
district, who has been a resident of Hutchinson since the year 1916, follow- 
ing his election to the district judgship, and who before that time had 
attained wide distinction as a practitioner at Newton, this state, and who, 
since resuming, his practice, at the close of his honorable judicial tenure, has 
added so conspicuously to his well-earned success that his many friends 
confidently predict that the future holds for him still higher honors in the 
service of the public. , 

Charles E. Branine was born on a farm on the old grade road near St. 
Elmo, Fayette county, Illinois, on March 7, 1864, <^ son of Joshua and 
Margaret J. (Dewese) Branine, the former of whom, was born in Decatur 
county, Indiana, March 7, 1834, and the latter in Ohio in 1835, the Branines 
being of Irish ancestry and the Deweses of French stock. Joshua Branine 
was reared in Decatur county, Indiana, a member of one of the pioneer 
families in that historic section of the Hoosier state, and in 1860, not long 
after his marriage, emigrated to Illinois, where he bought government land 



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/ 



RENO COUN'TY, KANSAS. 37 

in Fayette Goiuity, which- he imjl^rovecl and on which- tee ancHiis- famiJy lived 
until the spring of 1874, at which time he brought his family to Kansas and 
settled on a quarter 'section of land^-w^hicfl he purchased near' the growing 
tow^n of Xewton, and there he lived until '^^893, when he and %is wiffe^fetired 
from the farm and moved into* Newtown;' where their'Iast days were spent, 
Joshvia Branine dying in Noverriber; 1898, and his widow in Novttnber, 
191 :2- Joshua Branine was' a mast ardehf ReptibKcan and'almb^t- Worshipped 
the memory of Abraham Lincoln. He was more or less active in local 
politrics and for years served his township rfiO<^t acceptably- "as township trus- 
tee. He and his wife were devoted members -of the Methodist church, -in 
wFricli he long was a class leader and office bearferi'aWd -their children <\er€ 
faitH fully reared in that faith. These children; »teA in rfumber, w^re -afe 
folloAAT: Mary G., who married S. B. Holdeman and lives on the home farm 
in tiarvey county, Kansas ;* Ira, who died in infancy; George'W., a pros- 
perovis farmer of Kingman county, Kansas; Elmer L., also a farmer Hving 
near Blackwell, Oklahoma ; Charles E., the immediate subject of this bio- 
grapliical sketch; Sarah E., who married Everett Anderson, of Newton, 
this ^tate, for twenty-five years past a telegraph operator in the employ of 
tbe Santa Fe Railroad Company; John K., also a prosperous Kansas farmer; 
Ezra, C, a prominent attorney, member of the firm of Branine & Hart, New- 
ton, Kansas, who studied- la^v in the office of his brother, .Charles E., and 
for seventeen years, and until the time of the latter's election to- the district 
judg'ship; was a partner of his brother; Jeanette, who married the Rev. 
^V^illiam J. Shull, a minister of the Methodist church, now located in 
^^cPlierson county, this .state, and Anna J., who marrietl Charles. Joseph, 
stock dealer and farmer living at Potwin, Kansas. 

Charles E. Branine was- ten years of age when his parents came to 

K3.nsas.-1n 1874, and his elementary education therefore was continued" in 

the district schools of Harvey county. Hfe later attended the pubHc schools 

'^ Xewton, arid supplemented this course by a course of one year at: Baker 

L'niversily and one year at the University of Kansas.' 'He then taught 

^*>^Tiool in his honie district for one year, after which he entered upon a 

"Rid course of -reading in the law office' of that sterling old lawyer, J: W. 

•^^ly, of Newton, former United States district attorney- and an twator of 

^are power. In November, 1889, • Charles E. Branine rented an office in 

^'^wton; took the bar examination one niglit,' was admitted to the bar and 

^^^ next dzy in a barren little office without a dollar started in the practice 

^^ the profession in Avhich he was destined to achieve large note. In this 

same office room, which, however, was not long as bleak and barren as at 



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38 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

first, he remained nineteen years, until 1908, the year of his election to the 
district judgeship, by which he had become a lawyer of note and power 
throughout this section of the state. In 1892 Judge Branine's brother, Ezra 
C. Branine, a lad of twenty, right off the farm, entered his brother's law 
office and entered seriously the study of law. He was admitted to the bar 
in 1893 and in the next year became his brother's partner, a mutually agree- 
able connection which continued until Judge Branine assumed his judicial 
functions. 

While studying law in 1888, Judge Branine was elected justice of the 
peace of Newton township and occupied that office for two years. In 1889 
he was appointed United States commissioner for his district and in 1892 
was elected county attorney for Harvey county. It was durmg his four 
years tenure in this office that the famous Rogers record-burning case was 
brought to trial, a trial that continued for three years, being tried twice in 
the district court and twice in the supreme court, and in which Judge 
Branine figured quite prominently, his management of the prosecution gain- 
ing for him a wide reputation as a brilliant and talented lawyer. 

Judge Branine ever has been an ardent Republican, as was his father 
before him, and in 1898 served his party as county chairman. In 1900 he 
was elected to the state Senate from the thirteenth Kansas senatorial dis- 
trict, comprising Harvey and McPherson counties, and served with dis- 
tinguished abiHty in the upper house of the Legislature from 1901 to 1905. 
In November, 1908, Senator Branine was elected judge of the ninth Kansas 
judicial district, comprising the three counties of Reno, Harvey and Mc- 
Pherson, and in January, 1909, ascended the bench, serving as a just and 
impartial judge until January, 19 13, at which time he opened an office for 
the practice of law in the city of Hutchinson, and has been located there 
ever since, never having been out of the harness a single day. Judge Bran- 
ine enjoys the unique record of having gone directly from the practice to 
the bench and from the bench back to the practice without missing any 
time. In July, 19 10, he had moved his family from Newton to Hutchinson, 
in which latter city he had built a handsome residence at 114 Twelfth 
street, west, and where he still resides, the Branine home being widely known 
for the fine character of its hospitality. 

On October 8, 1891, Charles E. Branine was united in marriage to 
Mary E. Rigby, who was born in Doniphan county, Kansas, daughter of 
Jonathan A. Rigby and Jane A. ( Ferguson) Rigby, the former of whom, 
now deceased, was for many years a building contractor at Concordia, this 
state, and the latter of whom, a native of Ireland, of Scotch parentage, is 



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RENO COUNTYv KANSAS. 39 

Still living. Mary E. Rigby was a school teacher at Concordia and later at 
Newton and it was there that she and Judge Branine formed the mutual 
attachment which led to their happy union. To this union two children have 
been bom, Harold R., bom on October lo, 1892, graduated from the New- 
ton high school in 1910 and from Kansas University in 1914 with the 
degree of Bachelor of Arts and elected to the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity 
and wearing the coveted key with becoming dignity, and now completing 
the law course at Kansas University, and Hazel E., bom on March 10, 
1895, graduated from the Hutchinson high school in 1913, from which she 
was- admitted to Wellesley and now attending Wisconsin University at 
Madison, Wisconsin. 



EUGENE L. MEYER. 



Eugene L. Meyer, pioneer banker of Hutchinson, this county, presi- 
dent of the First National Bank of that city and prominently connected with 
numerous important enterprises hereabout, though a native Parisian, is a 
vigorous, loyal and devoted American, having been a resident of this coun- 
try since he was four years old and during all of the active years of his life 
he has g^ven of the best there is in him to the cause of progress in his 
adopted land. Mr. Meyer is the pioneer of all the bankers now residing in 
Reno county and has been connected with all the enterprises which the 
position of president of the oldest and largest bank in the county would 
naturally lead him into, being, therefore, a man of commanding influence 
in this community. 

The First National Bank of Hutchinson for years has been known as 
"the oldest and largest bank in the Arkansas valley." It has grown as 
Kansas has grown, and when in the early years there were times of adver- 
sity the First National Bank of Hutchinson was the synonym for strength 
and character among the banking institutions of the state. It was founded 
in 1876. Its business increased as the city and community grew, and then 
it went beyond the local confines and embraced on its books a greater part 
of the banking business, either as banker or correspondent, for the local 
banks of central and southwest Kansas. Eugene L. Meyer has been "the 
man behind the gim" since the founding of the bank, and during all of this 
time his hand has been the guiding one and his conservative and yet aggres- 
sive banking methods have done much to establish the reputation of the 



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40 RENO* COUNTY, KANSAS. 

First National Bank. Its capital stock of two huadred and fifty thousand 
dollars and its surplus of fifty thousand dollars gi\se it ample meaits with 
which '^to transact its extensive business, and its thorough acquaintance with 
methods, conditions and securities insures its success alorig* all. Irnes' of' activ- 
ity: The First National Bank has made a special: feature of its • -savings 
department and through that agency 4ias encouraged many a young person 
in habits of thrift which have, brought success in after years. / Associated 
with Mr.. Meyer in the conduct of the bank are:: Directors, George E. 
Gano; N. B. Sawyer, Pet Nation; Fred C. I^rench, cashier, and E. -W. 
Meyer, assistant cashier. The directors are all strong men financially - and 
each gives his earnest attention to the affairs of the bank. - Mr. French' and 
the younger Mr. Meyer both are trained bankers and are most efficient 
officers of the bank, which is always to be depended on by its depositors and 
is a source of just pride to every citizen of Hutchinson. 

Eugene L. Meyer was born in Paris, the capital of France, on April 
15, 1849. In 1853, he then being four years of age, his parents eniigrated 
to the United States, landing at the port of ^^ew Orleans on November 6 
of that year. Thence they proceeded up the Mississippi river, stopping at 
Rock Island, Illinois, where they remained until June, 1857, when they 
started by steamboat for Kansas, arriving at Leavenworth on the loth of 
that month. Thence they moved to Atchison, . 

Eugene L. Meyer was eleven years, old whei^ his family located at 
Atchison. Upon completing his schooling, Mr. Meyer began the study of 
the drug business at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he remained until 1867. 
Later he went East and was engaged as a traveling salesman, for three 
years with a wholesale chemical house of New York City. It .was in 
March, 1872,. that he located in Hutchinson. He erected .a modern building 
on lot No. 9, North Main street, and was engaged in the drug business here 
for twelve years. When the Reno County State Bank was prgai^ized, in May, 
1876, he was one of the original incorporators of this, bank and .beca^me its 
vice-president. In May, 1884, the -bank was changed from a state bank to 
a national bank, and Mr. Meyer became cashier of the First. National Bank 
of Hutchinson. . Later, he was elected president .of the bank^. and has ever 
since served in that important executive capacity. _ ., ..,„■. . , .. 

On April 7, 1874, Eugene L. Meyer was. united in marriage to Mary 
Emma Moore, daughter of Rev. D. M.. Moore, father of Presbyterianism 
in this section of Kansas, pastor of the Presbyterian church., at. Hut chinsoa 
and the first formally installed minister of, the gospel in that city... In ,a 
biographical sketch relating to Rev. D. M. Moore, presented elsewhere in 



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RENCr COUNTY, KANSAS. 4 1 

^^^Vblatrte, thfere is ^et out ki de^srfl fiirther partitulars ^c/f'the history of 
^^^t devoted pioneer -miilister. T^ Mrs.' MtfW^e children have 

^^^^^bofhv-AttnaM)arre, Edward W., ' Margaret E.,"Daiif el E. artdXouis F. 

"■' * .- -'• . .- t: •- ■> r '■ ^^.'I'i.'./t-.i^'' . •'■ . • ■ 

SAMUEL H.SIDLINGER,.M. ID.. ^^ 

During the height gf the-.diatress caused throughout this st^ctioAV Qt 

Aansas by the grasshopper visitation in .1874 one of the most. sympathetic 

c<^ntx-it>utors to. the vast jeUef .fupd raised by.. the. good people, o^ the United 

States Avas Dr.. Samuel H. Sidhuger, an earnest young pl^ysician.pf -K[apOr 

leon, CI>hio. A year later that young physician visited, this county ..^d \v;as 

^^^^^ply. impressed by the promising conditions hereabout that. he. located 

at rJxatichinson and has lived there ever sinc^.., D.uring alL thes^intexvening 

years I^octor SidHnger has done well his part as a. good citizen and kindly 

D^nef^^Qtor, As a pioneer practitioner he was called to. homes far remote 

no\x\. j-jjg Jiome, often ^ being reguired. to drive as. far. west as Lamed and. 

^^^ into the /'panhandle" of Texas, his practice, covering a radius of one 

'^^^red and. fifty miles, out of . Hutchin3on. . A^., mayor of Hu^cliinson, 

^^^r Sidlinger rendered .a. distinctive .civic. service,. the. period of his term 

Ot office in the executive's chair covering a . very important period in the 

C^Vy's growth .and development; and in,, all other w^ys he has performed 

equally well every duty required of him, in.either a professional .or civic 

capacity. . ... . ^ v - /k 

During the early years of his extensive practice throughout this region 
Doctor Sidlinger s .faithful companion on. his' long.. and lonely drives was his 
good old horse, 'Trince,'' a. rarely intelUg^ntly ^iraal, known all over the 
country for miles about. The Doctpr^and his, friends used to declare that 
"Prince'' possessed more than human. intelligence .and on. 'Trince's" un- 
erring sense o£ dir/ection. the, Doctor reliecLimpliptly while driving .through 
blizzards or in th^. black hours of the night over the trackless and unfenced 
plains. Faithful "old "Prince!' .lived to b^ twenty-two years old and died 
full of honors. "Prince" was an aniraalof .fine .mettle and in bis younger 
days had won honors on the race track and blue ribbons at the horse shows, 
but hi3 enduring, claim, to distinction was based, upon, the faithful service he 
for years rendered in, behalf of .suffering humanity hereabout, in the service 
of his gentle master> ,t:he conscientious pioneer physician. In those^ days 
Doctor.- Sidlinger was kept constantly '!on the go,'' as the narration of the 



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42 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

following incident will show: For weeks the Doctor had not been able to 
take a Sunday dinner at home. One Sunday morning, by rare chance, he 
was at home and the indications were fair that he should be permitted to 
have a day of relaxation. His wife promised to prepare for him a dinner 
that shcMd include all the "fixin's" he liked best and happily set about 
getting up a meal that should reward him for the many he had missed. 
Just as he was about to sit down to the bounteously laden table the Doctor 
was called to the bedside of a patient across the river. Hitching up "Prince" 
he dashed off on his mission of mercy, assuring Mrs. Sidlinger that he would 
be back within the hour. Before he had concluded that first call a call came 
to him from another bedside and thus, one after another, until eight days 
had elapsed before the Doctor reached home again, he aild "Prince" having 
been kept going night and day meanwhile. 

Samuel H. Sidlinger was bom at Massillon, in Stark county, Ohio, 
June 23, 1845, son of John and Orsilla (Weible) Sidlinger, the former of 
whom was born in the kingdom of Bavaria and the latter near the city of 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. John Sidlinger had been well trained in his 
native country to the trade of carriage-maker, and at the age of eighteen 
came to the United States. He had little difficulty in finding remunerative 
employment in this country and presently found himself at Massillon, Ohio, 
where for nine years he was engaged as foreman in the machine shop of 
the Partridge & Russell Threshing Machine Company. He then went to 
Napoleon, Ohio, where he established a wagon- and carriage-making shop, 
in his later years, however, retiring to a farm at Liberty Center, six miles 
from Napoleon, where his last days were spent. John Sidlinger was a fine 
baritone singer and an expert musician and during the Civil War served 
as a member of the regimental band of the Fourteenth Regiment, Ohio Vol- 
unteer Infantry. He and his wife were the parents of six children, namely: 
Edward, now deceased, who for years was a well-known druggist at Hutch- 
inson, this county; John, also deceased, who for years was a clerk in his 
brother's store at Hutchinson; Samuel H., the immediate subject of this 
biographical sketch; George, now deceased, who was foreman in a factory 
at Napoleon, Ohio; William, a wealthy retired farmer and large landowner 
of Napoleon, Ohio, and Ida, who married Amos S. Hess, of the Hutchinson 
Nezvs, 

Samuel H. Sidlinger was nine years of age when his parents moved 
from Massillon to Napoleon and his schooling was thus divided between the 
schools of those two towns. At the age of ten he entered upon the study 
of music and became a proficient performer upon the clarinet, cornet and 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 43 

the violin. When sixteen years old, after two unsuccessful attempts to 
enlist for service during the Civil War, being rejected on account of his 
youth, he succeeded in getting in as a musician and for eighteen months 
served as a member of the regimental band of the Fourteenth Ohio Infan- 
try. He then enlisted in the hospital corps of the One Hundred and Twenty- 
fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until the close 
of the war, being mustered out on June 30, 1865. Upon the conclusion of 
his military service this young soldier returned to his home at Napoleon and 
for nearly nine years was engaged there as a clerk in a drug store, mean- 
while giving his serious attention to the reading of medical literature. He 
then entered the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann 
Arbor and was graduated from that institution in the spring of 1874, with 
the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Thus admirably equipped for the prac- 
tice of his profession, Doctor Sidlinger returned home and opened an office 
at Napoleon and was engaged in practice there for six months. It was dur- 
ing this time that the great grasshopper scourge turned the attention of the 
whole country to the sufferings of the victims of that visitation in Kansas, 
and there was no more sympathetic contributor to the relief of those suffer- 
ers than Doctor Sidlinger. That fall Doctor Sidlinger decided to locate in 
the West. At Hutchinson he found what seemed to him the very spot he 
was seeking and in 1875 he settled in the struggling little village on the 
plain and established a permanent office, an exercise of judgment he never 
has regretted. Two years later, in 1877, the Doctor's brother, Edward 
Sidlinger, joined him at Hutchinson to take charge of the E. L. Meyer drug 
store and in 1882 engaged in the drug business in that city on his own 
account, establishing his store in a one-story brick building on the site of 
the present Sidlinger drug store. The Doctor from the first was a silent 
partner in the business and later erected the two-story building in which the 
store long has been located. 

From the very beginning of his residence in Hutchins^on, Doctor Sid- 
linger gave his most earnest attention to local political affairs. In those 
days he was what was called an "Abe Lincoln black Republican" and he 
never has departed from the faith. He was one of the most energetic pro- 
moters of civic pride in the new town and for four terms rendered valuable 
service as a member of the city council. He then was elected mayor and 
during his two terms of service in that capacity Hutchinson's streets were 
graded and the sidewalks brought to a level, the mayor in other ways also 
striving to arouse a higher degree of civic consciousness in the minds of the 
settlers. Of course, it was as a physician that his great service was ren- 



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44 RENO'COUNTV, KANSAS. 

dered, and a record of that service is -written on the -hearts of all survivors 
of that fine generation of pioneers wh6 made possible the present high stage 
of development of this' favored- section of the state. In 1875, shortly after 
locating at Hutchinson, Doctor Sidlinger was appointed local physician for 
the Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company and has ever since 'been retained 
in that position. He also has been physician for the Missouri Pacific Rail- 
road Cbmpany ever since that road reached Hutchinson. In 191 3 he practi- 
cally tetired from his private practice; but continues to maintain the liveliest 
intel^^st in local affairs. • ^ 

On Jiine 30, 1868, Dr. -Samuel H. Sidlinger was united ^in -marriage to 
Llicinda Welty,'Nvho was borti ^t New Philadelphia,' Ohio, daughter of John 
and Sarah Wei ty, the former of whom was a farmer who later moved to 
Newton, Jasper cbunt>% Iowa, where he and his wife sj^ent their last days. 
To thi^ union one child was botn, a daughter, Lila, who married Fred A. 
Innes and lives in Oklahoma. In 1875, the year he located in Hutchinson, 
Doctor Sidlinger built a comfortable brick house at the corner of First and 
Poplar streets, and there he and his wife still make their home, being very 
pleasantly situated. The Doctor is a Knight Templar, a past eminent com- 
mander of the commandery at Hutchinson;* a past worshipful master of the 
Masonic blue lodge and past high priest of the local chapter. Royal Arch 
Masons, and thrice illustrious master of his council. He also is a charter 
member of the Hutchinson lodge of the Ancient Order of United Work- 
men, and in the affairs of these several organizations takes a warm interest. 



HON. GEORGE A. NEELEY. ^ , 

The life of former Congressman George A. Neeley, president of the 
Farmers National Bank of. Hutchinson, this county,, and a prominent lawyer 
of that xrity, has been a busy one. Though still a comparatively young man,, 
he has accomplished miich and his friends confidently predict for .him even 
greater accomplishments. His defeat for election, to the , United States 
Senate in 1914 was accomplished by so close a .margin that there are not a 
few persons, even ampng tho?e who were politically opposed to his candi- 
dacy, who insist that had certain allegations of election frauds been fully 
investigated it would have b^en found that he had been triumphantly elected 
to a seat in the greatest .deliberative body in the world. 

George A. Neeley was .born in the hamlet ,of Detroit, Pike county, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANS-^S. 45 

Illinois, on August i, .1879, son of George M. and. Mary Elizabeth (Ste- 
phen^ )• Neeky, the former of whom was .bom within om hundred yards of 
that ^pot on. March I, 1839, and. the latter in lawa, August. 15, 1851, both 
oi -vwrlr^om are still, living. George M. Neeley is the son of Henry and Mar- 
garec Neeley, the former a , native of Tennessee and. the latter of Illinois. 
Heniry Neeley was an early., settler in Pike county, Illinois, and bought a 
large tract of land, on , which he later laid out the town of Detroit. He was 
one of the most influential men in that section of the state of Illinois and 
became quite well-to-do. He was an active member of the Methodist church 
and was prominent in all good works thereabout. Upon the death of his 
wife, in 1846, he married again and lived to a ripe old age. One of his 
brothers was a soldier during the Mexican War. ; Mary Elizabeth (Ste- 
phens) ' Neeley is the daughter of Elijah M. and .Catherine Stephens, the 
former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Jowa.. >.EUjah Stephens left 
Kentucky during the days of. his early manhood and went to Missouri, 
where he became a pioneer. physician. Upon the breaking out of the Civil 
War, He enlisted in the Union army and. during the lalter part of the war 
was m3.de surgeon of his regiment. ' At the battle of ^ Wilson's Creek he was 
seriously wounded, but recovered and lived many: years of usefulness, his 
death occurring in 1904, he then having been eighty-three, years of age. 
His A?vidow,. whom all the family lovingly call **Kittie/' is still living at 
tarl Junction, Missouri. 

^-i^orge M. Neeley, father of the subject of this biographical review, was 

^^*t of his mother by death when he was seven years of age and. he was 

taken into the home of the Defontaine family and grew to manhood on an 

inbi^ farm. He thfen went to Texas, where he spent eighteen years as a 

cotton plater and broker, at the end of which time he returned to Detroit, 

inoi^^ where he engaged in merchandising until 1884, ^^ which year he 

^^^ to Jophn, Missouri, where he remained until 1893, after which he 

went ^Q Oklahoma, where he homesteaded a considerable tract and is now 

viug-^ very comfortably situated, at Wellston, Oklahoma. During the Civil 

.^^s- George M. Neeley served as a soldier in the Confederate army, a 

^^t>«r of Company D, Third Arizona Regiment, which was recruited in 

^'^^Hvrestem Texas. He served three years and nine months, among the 

^^t>le engagements in which he participated having been the battle of Red 

^^^^, and he was wounded twice. At the close of the war, under the mis- 

^^^^^ apprehension that Confederate soldiers were to be shot by the Federal 

SP'^^rnment, he departed for Mexico and remained over the border for two 

V^^t^s before learning that it would be perfectly safe for him to return. 



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46 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Upon returning to Texas, he took the oath of allegiance and presently was 
appointed county judge. Upon the expiration of that term of office he was 
appointed United States marshal for the eastern district of Texas. Upon 
his return to his boyhood home in Illinois, he entered actively into the politi- 
cal life of that community, as a Democrat, and served as a justice of- the 
peace much of the time during his later residence there. George M. Neeley 
was twice married. By his first' wife, who was a McKeever, he had two 
children,.iAlbert Marion, who died in Texas in 1883, at the age of twenty 
years, and Emma, who married John D. Howard, a merchant of Joplin, 
Missouri, where she is still living. To his union with Mary Elizabeth 
Stephens, four children were born, namely: Lillie, who is living with her 
parents at Wellston, Oklahoma; George A., the immediate subject of this 
sketch ; Elva, who married John Dunham and lives at Wellston, Oklahoma, 
and Lola, who married James A. Dunham and lives in the same city. 

George A. Neeley was but five years of age when his parents moved 
to Joplin and was thirteen years of age when they moved from that city to 
Oklahoma, his elementary education therefore having been gained in the 
common schools of both Missouri and Oklahoma. This he supplemented by 
a course in the Southwestern Baptist University at Jackson, Tennessee, after 
which he entered the law school of the University of Kansas,, from which 
he was graduated in 1904. Prior to that time he had taught school for four 
years in the schools of Oklahoma and had likewise been sedulously engaged 
in the private study of law at home. Following his graduation, in 1904, 
Mr. Neeley opened an office for the practice of his profession at Wellston 
and remained there one year. He then married and moved to Chandler, 
county seat of his home county, where he entered the law office, of Malcolm 
D. Owen, as junior partner, a mutually agreeable connection which con- 
tinued for three years and six months, or until the time of his decision to 
locate in Hutchinson. Upon going to Hutchinson, Mr. Neeley entered the 
law office of Carr W. Taylor^ with whom he was engaged in practice for 
two years and six months, at the end of which time he opened an office of 
his own. 

At a special election held on January i, 1912, George A. Neeley was 
elected to represent this district in Congress, to fill the unexpired term of 
Congressman Edmund H. Madison, and in November following was elected 
for the full succeeding term, at that election receiving the greatest plurality 
ever given a candidate for Congress in the state of Kansas. Congressman 
Neeley arrived at Washington to fill out Mr. Madison's unexpired term on 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 47 

JsLia^^' 29, 1912, the fiftieth anniversary of the admission of Kansas to the 
XJni^n of states. Upon being presented by one of his colleagues to receive 
\kx^ oath of office in the House, he was pleasantly greeted by Speaker Clark, 
^\io, gravely addressing the House, said that he had two important events 
\ \x) announce : "The taking of the oath of office by the second Democratic 

I corigT^sman ever elected from the state of Kansas; and that on the fiftieth 

anniversary of the admission of his state,'' which announcement was re- 
ceived with much applause on the part of the assembled representatives, 
iiepresentative Neeley took i very active part in the deliberations of the 
Congtess and, for a new member, received some very important committee 
appointments, a mark of distinction which his friends in his home district 
properly appreciated. As a member of the celebrated Pujo "money trust" 
investigation committee, he assisted materially in that extensive inquiry and 
helped write the exhaustive report of the committee. He also wag a mem- 
ber of the important committee on banking and currency, which framed the 
federal reserve act, and it was he who led the fight both in the committee 
^"^ in the majority caucus for the inclusion of the "agricultural credits" 
clause in that act. In 19 14 Representative Neeley received the nomination 
m the state-wide primaries as the Democratic candidate for the United 
States Senate in this state, and in the memorable election of that fall, in 
which more than five hundred and twenty-six thousand votes were cast, he 
lailed of election by the narrow margin of three thousand eight hundred 
and ninety-four votes, a circumstance which caused even some of those 
who had most earnestly opposed his candidacy to admit that if certain 
^^cffed election frauds had been cleared up he would have been found to 
have l>^en elected. In January, 191 2, Mr. Neeley formed a partnership, 
for the practice of law, with A. Clare Mallory, which partnership still exists. 
19x5 he was made president of the Farmers National Bank of Hutchin- 
son, which was organized in that year, and is now serving in that capacity, 
. ^s also vice-president of the Farmers Hail Insurance Company, having 
'^ Prtncipal office at Hutchinson. 

On Monday, October 31, 1904, George A. Neeley was united in mar- 
^ge to Eva M. Hostetler, who was bom in Bedford, Indiana, daughter of 
:'^^than and Martha Hostetter. Jonathan Hostetter, whose wife died on 
^^^^^>iber 26, 19 1 2, is a veteran of the Civil War and for many years was 
^ Prominent merchant in Indiana. He is now living at Mulvane, this state. 
^^ ^r. and Mrs. Neeley two children have been born, George Newland, 
^^^^ on August 5, 1905, who died on December 21, 1907, and Eva Mar- 



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48 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS, 

garet, bom on February 17, 191 1. Mr. and. Mrs. Neele^ are members of 
the Pirst Christian church at. Hutchinson and M^- Neeley is ^ member of 
the Odd . Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective 
Order, of Elks and the Modem -Woodmen. . 



HON. WILLIAM H. MITCHELL. 



The Hon. William H. Mitchell, former member of the Kansas state 
Legislature, a prominent retired stock farmer of Huntsville township, this 
county, now living at 411 Seventh avenue, east, in the city of Hutchinson, is 
a native-born Hoosier, a fact of which he never has ceased to be proud, 
though for many years he has been a stanch and loyal Kansan. He was 
born on a farm near the city of Bedford, in Lawrence county, Indiana, 
March 8, 1844, son of William C. and Mary J. (Francis) Mitchell, the 
former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana, whose last days 
were spent on their Indiana farm. 

William C. Mitchell was the son of James and Nancy (Campbell) 
Mitchell, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania on October 14, 1767, 
and died in Monroe county, Indiana, June 9, 1846. James Campbell and 
wife reared six sons and three daughters, all of whom save one daughter 
married and. reared families of their own. One son, Joseph, removed to 
Iowa about 1850 and there reared a large family, one of his sons, James, 
being a veteran of the Ciyil War. Another son, George, also removed to 
Iowa in an early day aiid two of his sons, Thomas and William Oscar, were 
veterans of the Civil War. The latter became a state senator in I6wa and 
was twice elected to the Legislature. Another grandson of James Mitchell 
became one of the leading lawyers of Ottuniwa, Iowa, and was elected to 
the l)ench. William C. Mitchell was born in Kentucky in 1807 ^"d died in 
Indiana on July 30, 1885. He married in Indiana, Elizabeth Francis, and 
to that union six children were bom, namely : Elizabeth M., who married 
I. H. Waynick and reared a large family ; Mrs. Martha A. Norris, who 
lived at Charlton, Iowa; David T., who became a lieutenant-colohel during 
the Civil War, later moving to Kansas, w^here he became one of the organ- 
izers of Neosha county in 1865; later' moving to Columbia, Missouri; Mrs. 
Nancy A. Douglas, a resident of Charlton, Iowa; William H., the subject of 
this review, and James F., who remained iii Indiana, a dealer in lumber. ' The 
mother of these children died in 1848 and William C. Mitchell married, sec- 



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RENO CX)UNTY, KANSAS. 49 

ondly, Mary J. Erwin and to that union were born four sons and one daugh- 

.ter. Two of these sons, Samuel E. and Lewis, remained in Indiana; George 
settled near Augusta, Oklahoma; Bennett, the first bom, died when he was 
three y^ars old, and Katie, the only daughter, died at the age of five years. 
Mrs. Mary J. Mitchell survived her husband about one year. 

William H. Mitchell was reared on the paternal farm in Indiana and 
grew up with very little schooling, the i whole number of his days in school 
aggregating less than a year. On July 9, 1861, he then being but seventeen 
years of age, he enlisted for service in the Union army during the Civil War 
in Company A, Twenty- fourth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry ,^ and 
served for thr«e years with the Army of the West, being . mustered out at 
the end of his term of enlistment, July 31, 1864, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 
His health being somewhat broken, Mr. Mitchell did not re-enlist. He 
•returned to his home in Indiana and in 1865 went to Iowa, where he entered 
school, but soon withdrew, on account of defective vision, and returned in 
the spring of 1866 to Indiana and the same year came to Kansas, where he 

- joined his brother. Col. David T. Mitchell, in Neosha county. 

In August, 1867, Mr. Mitchell again returned to Indiana, where he was 
married and in the following month he and his bride, together with his 
brother, James F., a brother-in-law, H. C. Mallott, and John Stone and wife, 
drove through with four "prairie schooners'' to Kansas and pre-empted 
claims twenty miles south of Humboldt In the fall of 1869 Mr. Mitchell's 
wife died and he took his two small children to Indiana, where he remained 
for a couple of years farming. In the fall of 1871 he married another 

.Indiana girl and returned to his Neosha county homestead. In 1873, on 
account of his wife's failing health, he returned again to Indiana, where he 

-remained until 1884, in which year he returned to Kansas and settled in 
Reno coimty. He bought of John Puterbaugh the old Wampler timber 
claim of a quarter of a section in Huntsville township and later one hundred 
•and twenty acres south of that, and went in quite extensively for raising 
cattle. Later he engaged extensively in the breeding of purebred Poland 
China hogs and became quite successful as a stockman. In 1906 he retired 
from the active labors of the ranch and moved to Hutchinson, where he still 
lives, though retaining the ownership of his valuable farms. 

Mr. Mitchell ;hastakea an active interest in civic affairs ever since com- 

•fng to. Kansas and has been conspicuously prominent in the various move- 
ments designed to better the conditions of farm life and promote the interests 
of farmeils generally. For twelve successive years he was president of the 

..(4a) 



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50 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

school board of Huntsvllle township and served for two terms as justice of 
the peace there. During his residence in Neosha county he served as town- 
ship trustee. Mr. Mitchell was secretary of the first Greenback party county 
organization effected iil Lawrence county, Indiana, and attended numerous 
district and state conventions of that historic party. He joined the Grange 
in Indiana and was secretary of his local organizatioir. He also was lecturer 
for the Patrons of Husbandry until he left Indiana in 1884. When the 
Farmers Alliance was formed in Kansas Mr. Mitchell took an active part in 
the affairs of that organization and was engaged as county lecturer for the 
same, in that capacity attending all the national conventions of the alliance. 
When the Farmers Alliance was merged with the Populist party Mr. Mitchell 
took an active part in the affairs of the latter party and was chairman of the 
first Populist convention held in Reno county and was later nominated by 
that party as its nominee for representative in the state Legislature from the 
seventy-third representative district. In the fall of 1890 he was elected 
representative and served during the ensuing session of the Kansas General 
Assembly. In 1892 he was re-elected, but his opponent, W. J. Dix, con- 
tested the election on the ground of a controversy over boundary of the 
district. Mr. Mitchell took his seat in the House, but a decision of the 
supreme court on the issue of the disputed boundary automatically unseated 
him. During his service in the Legislature Mr. Mitchell was one of the 
members of the committee appointed to act in the matter of charges in the 
impeachment of Theodosius Bodkin, a matter of much political moment in 
that day; which charges Mr. Bodkin successfully resisted. Mr. Mitchell 
was one of the committee of investigation that investigated the Bodkin mat- 
ter and was also one of the impeachment board that tried him. After the 
subsidence of the Populist movement Mr. Mitchell remained absolutely inde- 
pendent in his political views, but since 1912 has regarded himself as a 
progressive Democrat. 

When the American Society of Equity was organized in the early part 
of the past decade for the purpose of securing to the farmers of the country 
a more equitable share in the profits of their products, Mr. Mitchell took a 
prominent part in the promotion of the movement and was made president 
of the local branch of the society and a delegate to the state and national 
meetings of the same. He was a delegate to the national convention of the 
society in Indianapolis in 1907, when the Everett faction was so vehemently 
resisted. Mr. Mitchell was made the spokesman of the opposing faction 
and when the minority delegates finally withdrew he was made chairman of 
the **rump" convention and was elected president of the National Farmers 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 5 1 

Society of Equity, organized to give new life to the demands of the real 
farmers composing the same. He served as president of the new society 
for one year and was then elected vice-president and director of the organ- 
ization, a position he held until 1914, when, at the national convention held 
at Omaha, he declined to serve any longer, on account of his increasing years 
and the state of his health, though he still retains active membership in the 
society. In 19 14 Mr. Mitchell was elected vice-president of the American 
Farmers Federation (a federation of all the societies founded for a like 
purpose) and is still serving in that capacity. In 191 3. Mr. Mitchell was 
appointed administrator of the Samuel Adamson estate and much of his 
time since then has been occupied in administering the estate. Mr. Mitchell 
is a past commander of Joe Hooker Post No. 17, Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, at Hutchinson, and for some time has been agent, by appointment of 
county commissioners, in a movement to secure the placing of proper head- 
stones at the graves of all deceased soldiers of the Civil War, the govern- 
ment having signified a willingness to furnish the stones if the various 
counties will provide for the erection of the same. Mr. Mitchell was at one 
time President of the Indiana Old Settlers Society of Kansas and served for 
three years and has been associated with it since its organization. 

In September, 1867, in Indiana, William H. Mitchell was united in mar- 
riage to Amanda Wood, who died on September 29, 1869, leaving three 
children, 011a E., born on June 22, 1868, now a farmer living at Carmen, 
Oklahoma, and Willie and Jesse W., twins, the former of whom died when 
three months old and the latter of whom is now living in Lawrence county, 
Indiana. On September 26, 1871, Mr. Mitchell married, secondly, Nancy 
L. Stipp, who was born in Lawrence county, Indiana, and to this union ten 
children have been born, as follow: Cadda A., who married J. W. Spilman 
and lives at Valley Falls, Kansas; Virgil W. and Edward (twins), the former 
of whom is a farmer living near Abbeyville, this county, and the latter of 
whom died when four months old; Michael F. and David B. (twins), the 
former a farmer living twelve miles west of Hutchinson on the Griffin farm, 
and the latter manager of the White Lumber Company at Fowler, this state ; 
Hattie M., a graduate nurse at Los Angeles, California; Mattie E., who 
married J. Frank Rush, a fireman in the employ of the Atchison, Topeka 
& Santa Fe railroad, with headquarters at Newton, this state; Lottie P., 
who married Joseph Vazis, a mechanic, living at St. Louis, Missouri ; James 
L., who operates his father's farm in Huntsville township, and Grace P., who 
married Elliot H. Chappel and lives in Hutchinson. 



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52 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

, ' FRED W. COOK, D. V. S: 

Dr.' Fred W. Cook, who, since' April 15, 1914, has been mayor of 
Hutchinson, and ^or many years has been actively engaged in the practice 
of veterinary surgery in Hutchinson^ is oile of the most talented members 
of his t)t*ofession' in the state, and has done as much, perhaps, to elevate its 
standard of excellence* as any othier man in the prof ession. 

Fred W. Cook was born in Worcestershire, England, May i, 1858. 
His parents were Joseph and Martha Cook, who were also natives of that 
country. His father was a landed proprietor. In connection with his agri- 
cultural pursuits he also followed the profession of a veterinary surgeon 
at Bredori, England, where his death Occurred in 1876. Two daughters of 
the family came to America with Fred W. They are: Annie, the wife of 
J. O. Shuler, a farmer of Reno county, and Laura, the wife of J. C. Bad- 
deley, assistant manager of the Morton Salt Company, and a member of the 
Hutchinson school board. Later three other sons of the family came to 
America, namely: Walter, a building contractor of Hutchinson; Arthur, a 
farmer of Reno county, and Frank, a blacksmith of Hutchinson. George, 
another member of the family, still makes his home in Bredon, England, 
where He follows the occupation of a building contractor. 

The isubject of this sketch received a liberal education in the public 
schools of the neighborhood in which he spent his early years. He grad- 
uated in the Blue school of his native town, after a five-year course, at the 
age of seventeen years. He then Entered an apprenticeship in scientific horse- 
shoeing, and three years later, after thoroughly mastering the art, he turned 
his attention to agricultural pursuits and stock raising on a farm of two 
hundred acres. He continued to devote his time and attention to this busi- 
ness until 1881. In that year he left the land of his birth and turned his 
face toward the New World. The older settled states did not appeal to him 
as a desirable place in which to locate and he did not tarry long there. His 
arrival in America was at a period when there was a great migration towards 
the western states where lands were cheap and the opportunities iot industry 
and enterprise to win success in their development. Kansas was one of the 
states in which these opportunities were afforded and to this state Mr. Cook 
directed his steps. He found a desirable location in Grant township, Reno 
county, where he purchased a quarter section of land and at once began its 
cultivation. He gave special" attention to the raising of fine stock,' princi- 
pally, Hereford and Shorthorn cattle, and Cleveland Bay and Hamiltohian 
horses. He followed this line of industry for three years with good suc- 



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RENO COUNTYy KANSAS. 53 

cess. In the fall of 1885 he entered the Ontario Veterinary College, of 
Toronto, Canada, where he completed a three-year course, graduating on 
March 30, 1888, with the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Surgery. 

After his graduation Doctor Cook returned to Hutchinsoh and began 
the practice of his chosen profession, in which he has rhet with exceptional 
and merited success. His increasing practice soon demonstrated the need 
of a suitable place for the treatment of subjects and, in 1891, he erected 
his present infirmary which is equipped with all modern appliances and 
conveniences known to the profession, for the treatment of all classes of 
disease, and for performing various operations required in the profession. 
This, without doubt, is the best equipped institution of the kind in the state, 
and in his chosen profession Doctor Cook stands second to none in the 
West. During the past twenty years he has also dealt extensively in high 
grade horses, buying and selling locally, or shipping to outside points, and 
in this business he is meeting with an e(|ual degree of success; his well known 
reliability in all trade transactions having gained for him the confidence of 
the entire public. 

In June, 1883, Fred W. Cook was married at Astoria, Illinois, to Min- 
nie Oviatt, a daughter of Henry and Mary (Jones) Oviatt. The father 
was a native of New York, and, during the War of the Rebellion, served 
as a brave and faithful soldier in defence of the flag. One daughter and 
one son have brightened and blessed this union. Mary Pauline, born in 
Hutchinson, July 10, 1894, graduate of Hutchinson high school, attended 
Redlands University, in California, one year, studying vocal and instru- 
mental music, and is now at the State Normal School, at Emporia, Kansas, 
studying music and domestic science. William Lawrence, boi*n in Hutchin- 
son, February 29, 1908, named for the eminent Baptist divine, Doctor 
Lawrence, of Chicago. 

For many years Doctor Cook served as president of the Kansas State 
Veterinary Association, and is a member of the Missouri Valley Veterinary 
Association. In 1888 he was state veterinary surgeon of western Kansas. 
The cause of education has also found in him a stanch and abiding friend. 
For ten or twelve years he served as a member of the board of the Reno 
high school, at Nicker son, and for eighteen years as a member of the school 
board of Hutchinson. For two years he was president of the school board, 
and for many years was chairman of the building committee in charge of 
the construction of new buildings. 

Doctor Cook devoted his best efforts to secure the establishment of the 
First Baptist church in Hutchinson, and during his entire residence here 



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54 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

has served as a member of the official board; for twenty-three years he has 
served as superintendent of the Sunday school and a teacher of a Bible 
class in the school. 

In March, 19 14, Doctor Cook was nominated as a candidate for mayor 
of Hutchinson, on the law enforcement, or reform ticket, and was elected 
in April of that year, defeating Lincoln S. Davis, the opposing candidate. 
He was re-elected in April, 191 5, with James P. Harsha as the opposing 
candidate. In the administration of this office he has followed the same 
ideals that have characterized his professional and business dealings. As 
a public official, as well as a private citizen, he enjoys the confidence and 
esteem of the community. He has a beautiful home at 215 Second avenue, 
east, where he and his family have resided for many years. 



THE CITIZENS BANK OF HUTCHINSON. 

Among the substantial and well-established financial institutions of this 
part of the state of Kansas few, if any, have a wider connection or a solider 
foundation than has the Citizens Bank of Hutchinson. Organized in 1892, 
the Citizens Bank was the natural outgrowth of conditions existing at that 
time in Hutchinson and vicinity and from its very inception has been a suc- 
cess, filling, as it did then, and still does, a very vital necessity in the com- 
mercial and general business life of this community. Founded by men of 
high purix)se, keen business sagacity and of unquestioned financial solidity 
and responsibility, its stockholders and directorate including the names of 
some of the best-known men in the local business world, the Citizens Bank 
of Hutchinson inspired the confidence of the community from the very 
moment it opened its doors, and that confidence has never been abused in 
any fashion by the directing heads of the sound old institution. 

Previous to the time of the organization of the bank, in 1892, James 
B. Mackay, a banker who had moved to Hutchinson from Illinois during the 
later eighties, he having had a bank in a small town near Galesburg, had 
been engaged in the banking business at Hutchinson and when the need of 
a new bank became apparent to him he associated with himself James Duke- 
low, T. F. Leidigh, Dr. Fred VV. Cook and Frank P. Hettinger and organ- 
ized the Citizens Bank. They bought the building at Second and Main, 
which is still occupied by the bank, from the old Bank of Commerce, paying 
about ten thousand dollars for the building and site. The bank started 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 55 

small There was probably not more than twelve thousand dollars capital 
stock to start with. It is characteristic of Mr. Mackay that when the new 
bank showed a loss the first year or two, not making expenses, he paid from 
his own pocket to cover the deficiency, telling his colleagues that he was 
responsible for getting them into it and that he would stand the loss. But 
the bank soon got onto its feet and was going good. It prospered from 
year to year and is now one of the strongest financial institutions in central 
Kansas. Mr. Mackay remained in active charge of the bank as president 
and cashier for many years, his fine conservatism and sound judgment, 
together with his wide knowledge of financial conditions hereabout, unde- 
niably adding much to the solid success achieved by the institution which 
he thus served. A few years ago, when the business became so heavy as to 
require it, Charles M. Branch was called from the First National Bank to 
become cashier of the Citizens Bank, and in 19 15, when Mr. Mackay was 
forced to leave the bank and take a season of rest in California, Mr. Branch 
stepped into his place as acting president. In the middle of January, 1916, 
Mr. Mackay definitely retired from the presidency of the bank and at his 
suggestion and request Mr. Branch was elected president to succeed him. 

James B. Mackay is a native of Scotland, having been born in the city 
of Edinburgh. Some time after coming to this country he located in Iowa, 
where he was engaged in the banking business for some time, later going 
to Illinois, where he continued his banking business until his removal to 
Hutchinson, as above noted. Mr. Mackay has long occupied a high posi- 
tion in the business life of this community. He and his wife have a charm- 
ing home at 725 Washington street, north, in Hutchinson. The veteran 
banker continues his interest in the bank and will remain on the official 
staflF as vice-president. 

Charles M. Branch, president of the Citizens Bank of Hutchinson, may 
properly be regarded as a pioneer of Reno county, he having been fourteen 
years of age when he came to this county with his parents in 1873. He 
has been a witness of the wonderful development of this section of the state 
from the very earliest days of its settlement and has ever done his full part 
in the promotion of that development, long having been regarded as one of 
the most active factors in the business life of the community. Charles M. 
Branch is a native of Iowa, having been born in the town . of Vinton, in 
Benton county, that state, September 27, 1859, son of Phineas C. and Sarah 
(Chapin) Branch, the former of whom was born at Middleton, near Rut- 
land, Vermont, in 1824, and the latter in 1826 in Massachusetts, who later 



L 



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56 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

became pioneers of this county and both of whom died in Hutchinson, to 
which city they had retired from, the farm in their declining days. 

Phineas C. Branch was fourteen years old when his parents emigrated 
from Vermont to Illinois, the family settling on a homestead farm in- that 
state, where the parents spent the remainder of their Hves. Phineas C. 
Branch became a dentist in Illinois and in 1855 moved to Vinton, Iowa> 
wher« he engaged in the practice of his profession and was thus engaged 
until he came with his family to Reno county in 1873. During the Civil 
War, Mr. Branch enlisted as a private in Company G, Thirteenth Regiment, 
Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which regiment he served for three years. 
In the fall of 1873 he gave up his practice as a dentist, desiring a change 
to outdoor life, and having been attracted by the glowing reports then pro- 
ceeding from this section of Kansas, came to Reno county. He entered a 
soldier's homestead and a timber claim in Med ford township and there 
established his home. He enlarged his original holdings by the purchase 
of two hundred and forty acres additional in Med ford township and when 
he retired from the farm and moved to Hutchinson, in 1901, was regarded 
as one of the most substantial citizens of his part of the county. He was 
a stanch Republican in earlier life, but later became an ardent Prohibitionist 
and was an earnest laborer in the cause during the height of the anti-saloon 
campaign in this state. He and his wife were devout members of the Bap- 
tist church and were counted among the leaders in all good works in their 
neighborhood. But two children were bom to them, sons both, Charles M. 
and Andrew C, the latter of whom is living at Sterling, Kansas. Mrs. 
Branch died in 1902, the year following her removal to Hutchinson, and 
Mr. Branch survived her about ten years, his death occurring in 191 2. 

Charles M. Branch was about fourteen years old when he came to Reno 
county with his parents and his schooling, which was interrupted by his 
removal from Vinton, was resumed in the district school in the neighbor- 
hood of his pioneer home in Medford township, which he supplemented by 
one year of attendance in the high school at Sterling. In 1886 he was 
engaged as a teacher in the schools at Sterling and was thus engaged for 
three years, at the end of which time he entered the service of the Rice 
County Bank at Sterling as a bookkeeper, a position which he occupied for 
nearly two, years. His services then were engaged by the First National 
Bank of Hutchinson and for fourteen years he served in the capacity of 
bookkeeper in that institution, after which he was made assistant cashier, a 
position which he occupied until January i, 1902, on which date he assumed 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 57 

the position of cashier of the Citizens Bank and j^feas so engaged until his 
elevation to the presidency of that institution, in Jianuary, 1916. 

On January 5, 1910, Charles M. Branch was united in marriage to 
Lenora Scott, who was born in Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Branch have a very 
pleasant home in Hutchinson and take a proper- part in the general social 
activities of the city. 



J. NEVON HERR. 



The notable improvement in the morale of the inmates of the Kansas 
state reformatory at Hutchinson, this county, since Superintendent Herr 
took charge of that institution in 1913, has been the subject of congratula- 
tory comment in all parts of the state, so many improvements having been 
made by him not only in the system of institutional administration, but in 
the general equipment of the reformatory and the beautification of the 
grounds, all reflecting most generously the humane spirit underlying mdd- 
em correctional methods, that the inmates have been affected most whole- 
somely; so much so, indeed, that an entirely new spirit may be said to be 
dominating the entire population of that admirable correctional institution. 

Immediately upon taking charge of the reformatory, or as soon there- 
after as he could acquire a proper working acquaintance with the institu- 
tion and its more vital needs, Superintendent Herr extended the honor 
system among the inmates, this humane expression of his confidence in the 
basic uprightness of mankind having had an immediate effect ui>on the gen- 
eral deportment of the unhappy young men under his care, who at once felt 
themselves '*on honor" bound to give conformance to the general rules laid 
down by this humane new administration. One of the first of these new 
regulations was a complete reformation in the matter of the institutional 
dress of the inmates, all institution marks carrying the brand and stigma of 
the old "convict" system being eliminated, the effect of which alteration in 
the reformatory "uniform" being an immediate improvement in the spirit 
of the inmates, who responded most readily and with unanimous heartiness 
to this appeal to their better natures. In the way of provision for whole- 
some relaxation during the idle hours of the inmates. Superintendent Herr 
has installed a motion picture outfit in the reformatory, through which 
medium the inmates are at proper times and for the time being lifted out of 
their self-centered lives and given an opportunity thus to keep in touch with 



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S8 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

the outside world, attendance on these exhibitions being practically unre- 
strained and without guard, an appeal to the pride and self-respect of the 
institution's population which has been met in the spirit in which it has been 
made. The population of the reformatory also is given the privilege of the 
grounds on such evenings as are marked by proper weather conditions, these 
"outings" also being practically unrestrained and unguarded. The value of 
these two experiments in institutional management has been exemplified to 
to the complete satisfaction of the reformatory authorities, it having been 
demonstrated that the moral tone of the institution has been elevated thereby 
in an extraordinary manner, the young men there under restraint having 
thus been given an outlet for their thoughts that has resulted in most cases 
in a complete rehabilitation of their mental attitude toward the place, which, 
naturally enough, has resulted in a general betterment of their morals and 
in their more decorous behavior. A striking manifestation of this improved 
attitude on the part of the inmates toward the institution to which they 
temporarily are attached has been found in the organization by the young 
men there restrained of a "Betterment League,'' which holds regular 
meetings, unrestrained and without guard, at which all matters looking to 
the general betterment of the lives of the members of this league are given 
proper consideration, the members of the league binding themselves to report 
to the administration any infringement of the mild rules laid down for the 
conduct of these meetings which might result in any way in a curtailment 
of the privileges thus accorded. These reports are not in any manner under- 
stood as being based upon a system of "spying" on the part of the members 
of the league, the members agreeing to resort first to proper moral suasion 
in the case of a possibly refractory member before reporting delinquencies 
on. the latter's part. The effect of improved conditions in the conduct of the 
school and library in connection with the reformatory also have proved 
largely beneficial and it is understood that a great work of real and perma- 
nent reformation is going on in the lives of many unfortunate young men 
under the humane system now operative under Superintendent Herr's ad- 
ministration. 

Not only in the purely correctional and reformatory aspects of the 
institution has extensive improvements been noted since Mr. Herr took 
charge of the reformatory, but in the physical aspect of the place, such as 
in the improvement of the grounds and the enlargement of the equipment 
of the reformatory, there has been marked betterment. A manual training- 
department, where the young men are given technical instruction in the 
leading trades, has been installed by Mr. Herr and an irrigation system has 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 59 

been provided as a means for the proper and profitable cultivation of the 
reformatory farm, while the formerly unsightly tract at the front of the 
grounds, once a mere ugly weed patch, has been converted into a real beauty 
spot by the exercise of a bit of intelligent direction in the way of landscape 
gardening. A large cement fish pond, stocked with several varieties of fish 
and surrounded by flower pots also has been provided and fifty acres of 
what once was a barren sand waste has been converted into a beautiful 
catalpa grove. The effect of all this intelligent direction has been to give 
the inmates of the refbrmatory an entirely new outlook on life and the 
conditions temporarily surroundiilg them, improving their morals and mak- 
ing them more amenable to discipline, while the better spirit of contentment 
that prevails under these altered conditions has been well proved by the 
fact that there have been but three elopements from the institution since Mr. 
Herr assumed the superintendency of the same. Mr. Herr's valuable experi- 
ments have attracted wide attention among sociologists and penologists all 
over the country and have bieen the subject of numerous interesting treatises 
presented in various high-class magazines and periodicals devoted to social 
betterment. 

J. Nevon Herr, superintendent of the Kansas state reformatory, is a 
native of Pennsylvania, having been born in Dauphin county, that state, on 
March 3, 1875, son of Abraham R. and Elizabeth (Shenk) Herr, both 
natives of Pennsylvania, of that sterling stock known as Pennsylvania Dutch, 
the Herr family in this country, however, having originally been founded 
by a Swiss, who emigrated to America in colonial days, Abraham Herr 
was a farmer and stockman in Pennsylvania, who, in March, 1886, came, 
with his family, to Kansas, locating iii the Kiowa neighborhood of Barber 
county, where he bought a half section of land, on which he made his home 
and where he died in the following June. His widow married, secondly, 
Henry Somner, who died five years later, and the widow now lives in 
Wellington, this state. Abraham R. Herr and his wife were earnest mem- 
bers of the Methodist church and their children were reared in that faith.' 
There are five of these children still living, those besides the subject of 
this biographical review being as follow : Allan, a prosperous farmer and 
stockman, of Medicine Lodge, this state; A. L., a prominent attorney, of 
Chickasha, Oklahoma, who married Bertha Downtain; Uriah C, postmaster 
of Medicine Lodge, this state, and publisher and editor of the Index at that 
place, and Ada, a school teacher, who lives with her mother at Wellington. 

J. Nevor Herr was twelve years of age when his parents came to Kan- 
sas and he has resided in this state ever since. His elementary education 






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6(> RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

had been received ift the schools of his home neighborhood in Dauphin 
coilnty, Pennsylvania, and this was supplemented by the instriKtions he later 
received in the high school at Kiowa, this state, from which he was grad- 
uated, after which he entered the employ of a corporation department store 
at Kiowa, with which concern he remained for eighteen years, his advance- 
ment in service with the company being so rapid that during the last few 
years of his connection therewith he was president of the corporation. 
During his residence in Kiowa, Mr. Herr took a prominent and active part 
in civic affairs and was regarded as one of the leaders in the ranks of the 
Democratic party in Barber county. For four years he served as mayor of 
Kiowa and his administration of the duties of that office was marked by 
many and substantial improvements to the town. For four years also Mr. 
Herr served as a representative in the state Legislature from Barber county 
and it was during his tenure in this latter office that he received his appoint- 
ment as superintendent of the Kansas state reformatory at Hutchinson, his 
administration in that important office dating from August i, 1913, since 
which time he has had his residence in the administration building of the 
reformatory. 

On May 12, 1901, J. Nevon Herr was united in marriage to Edith 
Potter, who was born in New York state and who came to Kansas when 
five years of age with her parents, Orman J. Potter and wife, the former of 
whom was a farmer and carpenter, and to this union two children have been 
born, Eleanor Lucile, born on March 4, 1903, and Harold, February 3, 
1908. 

Mr. Herr is a member of the Masonic lodge and of the Knights of 
Pythias and the Modern Woodmen, in the affairs of which orders he takes 
a warm interest. 



CHARLES A. RYKER. 



Charles A. Ryker, president of the Kansas Central Indemnity Com- 
pany, of Hutchinson, this county, is a Hoosier, having been born on a farm 
in Jefferson county, state of Indiana, on January 21, 1859, son of Joseph 
H. and Eliza S. (McLelland) Ryker, both natives of Indiana, the former 
of whom, born in 1826, died in 1881, and the latter, born in 1830, is still 
living. 

The Ryker family in America had its origin in Holland, the first of the 
name to come to this country having located in New York in colonial days. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. „6l 

Gerardus Ryker was the first of the name to settle in Indiana, having been 
one of the first white men to make a home there.' He settled near the 
northern bank of the Ohio river not far from where the city of Madison 
later arose. His son, the great-grandfather of Charles A. Ryker, was born 
on the pioneer farm in what is now Jefferson county, as was his son, the 
father of Joseph H. ; the latter was reared there and spent his last days 
there. During the Civil War, Joseph H. Ryker. served the cause of the 
Union as a soldier in Company A, Fiftyr^fifth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry, and at the close of the war returned to the farm, where he spent 
the rest of his life, his death occurring in 1881, and his widow is still, living 
there. Joseph H. Ryker and wife were members of the Presbyterian church 
and their seven children were reared in that faith. 

Charles A. Ryker spent his youth in Hanover, Jefferson county, Indiana, 
and his elementary education was received in the local schools there, this 
course being supplemented by a course in the sterling old Presbyterian insti- 
tution, Hanover College. In 1879, he then being twenty years of age, 
Charles A. Ryker came West, locating at Burlitigton, in Coffey county, this 
state, where for eight years he worked for mercantile and lumber firms and 
where he cast his first vote for the Republican party. In 1887 he came to 
this county, locating at Hutchinson, where he took charge of the lumber 
yard of the Wisconsin Planing Mill Company, and continued in the lumber 
business, as manager for different firms, until his election, in 1900, on the 
Republican ticket, to the office of county treasurer, in which office he served 
for five years, his term of office having been extended by the Legislature. 
From the time of his arrival in Hutchinson. Mr.' Ryker had taken a thought- 
ful part in the political affairs of the city and county and had, previous to 
his election to the treasurer's office, served the public very acceptably both 
as a member of the city council and as a member of the school board. In 
1906 Mr. Ryker was elected a member of the state railway commission and 
served in that important capacity until the end of 1910. He, for years, 
served as a member of the Reno county Republican central committee and 
has been a frequent delegate to the state conventions of his party. In 1910 
Mr, Ryker started in the commission business, under the firm style of the 
Ryker Realty and Commission Company and has so continued to this time. 
Early in 191 5 he was instrumental in effecting the organization of the Kan- 
sas Central Indemnity Company, capital stock one hundred thousand dollars, 
and was elected president of that promising insurance concern, a position 
he now holds. 

In 188 1, at Burlington, this state, Charles A. Ryker was united in mar- 



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62 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

riage to Eva Dickinson, who was bom in Kansas and whose father, George 
H. Dickinson, is still a resident of Burlington, and to this union one child 
has been born, a daughter, Cornelia, who has been a student at Hanover 
College, in Indiana, she being a representative of the third generation of her 
family to attend that excellent old institution. Mr. and Mrs. Ryker are 
members of the Presbyterian church, and take an interested part in the 
various social and cultural movements of their home town. They have a 
very pleasant home at 424 Avenue A, east, which Mr. Ryker built in 1905. 
Mr. Ryker is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and 
of the Modern Woodmen. He is a member of the Commercial Club, which 
he has served in the official capacity of secretary, and takes a general inter- 
est in all movements designed to promote the advancement of conditions in 
all proper ways hereabout. 



ARTHUR E. ASHER. 



Arthur E. Asher, president of the Commercial National Bank of 
Hutchinson, this county, has been a resident of Kansas for twenty-nine 
years, or since he was twenty-one years of age, and has been a continuous 
resident of Hutchinson since 1906, his previous residence in that city, begun 
in 1897, having been interrupted in 1903 by a change in business which 
took him to Stafford for a period of three years, after which he returned 
to Hutchinson, which has been his home ever since. 

Arthur E. Asher was born in Oldham county, Kentucky, on May 14, 
1863, son of Milton and Martha L. (Eddins) Asher, both natives of that 
same county, both of whom were born in 1835. Milton Asher was the son 
of James D. Asher, of Irish descent, a pioneer in Oldham county, Kentucky, 
whose last days were spent there. James D. Asher and wife were members 
of the Christian church and were the parents of eight children, who were 
reared in that faith. Martha L. Eddins was the daughter of Abraham and 
Mary Eddins, both of whom were natives of Kentucky and members of the 
Methodist church, warmly opposed to the institution of slavery which then 
existed in most parts of Kentucky. 

Milton Asher was reared in Oldham county, Kentucky, and became a 
carpenter, millwright and bridge builder. He married there and inherited 
a part of the paternal farm, becoming *a man of considerable means. In 
1886 he emigrated with his family to this state and located at Stafford, that 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 63 

being before the days of the railroad there, and there he was engaged 
extensively as a building contractor for years. In 1897, ^^ the time his 
son, Arthur E., moved to Hutchinson, he and his wife also moved to that 
city, and there they both spent their last days, Mrs. Asher dying two years 
later, in 1899, and Milton Asher dying on January 2y, 191 1. They were 
^^Tnest members of the Christian church and their children were reared 
Ml that faith. Of these children, four in number, Arthur E. Asher, the 
immediate subject of this sketch, is now the sole survivor, the others having 
been as follow : Andrew Jackson, a farmer, who died at the age of twenty- 
four; Alonzo, a pharmacist, who died at the age of twenty-two, and Rosa 
L, who died at the tender age of four. - 

Arthur E. Asher was reared in Oldham county, Kentucky, receiving 

Ws education in the district school of his home neighborhood and at the 

college at Campbellsburg. He was twenty-one years of age when he came 

^0 Kaxisas with his parents and for a time after locating at Stafford he was 

^ffag'ed in the lumber business in the employ of Fair & Shock. He then 

entere<l the employ of the Bank of Stafford and thus began his successful 

^^^^x- as a banker. In 1895 he was made cashier of that bank, but two 

years later, in 1897, left that concern and located in Hutchinson, where he 

^^ecrted the organization of the St. Johns Trust Company, a concern for the 

^*^^sive use of cattlemen, and was made secretary of the company. In 

9^^3 that company liquidated and Mr. Asher returned to Stafford, where 

^ ^^^ganized the First State Bank of Stafford and was made president of 

^^ institution. In 1906 he returned to Hutchinson and organized the 

^'^^^rnercial National Bank, of which he was made president, a position which 

^ l^^Xs held ever since. In 1908 Mr. Asher extended his banking operations 

^ -^^ineola, this state, where he organized the First National Bank of Mineola 

^'^cl .^^g niade president of that institution, which office he still holds, at the 

sa^"tt^ time retaining an interest in the First State Bank of Stafford, of 

^^In he formerly was president, and of which he still is a director. Mr. 

^ti^j is an alert, up-to-date business man and is interested in various other 

. ^^'T-prises in and about Hutchinson, among which is the Hutchinson Build- 

^^ snd Loan Association, of which he is vice-president and one of the 

d»^^<:^ors. 

On December 8, 1888, Arthur E. Asher was united in marriage to 

5^^^^^ ^- Sommers, who was bom in Illinois, daughter of Alexander and 

^'^^abeth Sommers, early residents of Stafford. Alexander Sommers was 

^^^►ipenter and builder, who took a prominent part in the upbuilding of the 



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64 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

to^yn of Stafford in the earlier days thereabout. He died there and his 
widow, who is still living, is making her home with Mr. and Mrs. Asher. 

To Arthur E. and Gertrude M. (Sommers) Asher three children have 
been bom, namely: Lucile, born in 1890, who married Ernest Dickerson, 
a traveling salesrnan, of Hutchinson; Mildred, who married Ray H. Tinder, 
a lawyer* of Hutchinson, and has one child, a son, Charles Elston, born in 
April, 191 5, and Helen, 1898, who is attending high school. Mr. and Mrs. 
As^er are members of the Christian church and Mr. Asher is .president of 
thec^ official board of. the congregation to which he is attached. He.s^nd.bis 
.wif^ take an active part in the social life of the city rnaking their presence 
felt in many useful ways and are held in jiigh , regard. Their home at 
1009 North Main street is one of the most. attractive in the city. 

Mr. Asher is a Democrat in matters relating to the policies of the 
national government, but in local politics is inclined to be rather independent, 
holding to the view that the man instead of the party should be the guide 
to the voter in local elections. For. seven years he seryed on the Hutchinson 
school board and has been a member of the city council for years, his services 
in both of these offices having proved of large value to the community. 
Mr. Asher is a Mason and has attained to the York Rite in that order, being 
one of the most active members of t^ie copmandery of the Knights Templar 
at Hutchinson, and is also an active member of the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen. . < 



EDWARD TINDALL GUYMON. 

Edward Tindall Guymon, one of the best-known and most representa- 
tive business men in Hutchinson, founder of the town of Guymon, Okla- 
homa, and prominently identified with many of the most extensive corpora- 
tions in and about Hutchinson, as well as in other sections of the state, is a 
native of Illinois, but has been a resident of Kansas since 1879. He was 
born on a farm near Warsaw, in Hancock county, Illinois, in August, 1859, 
son of John and Jane (Griggsby) Guymon, both natives of that same state, 
the former born in 1838 .and the latter in 1836. 

John Guymon was a farmer. When the Civil War broke out he 
enlisted in behalf of the Union cause and went to the front as a private in 
Company F, Seventy-eighth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with 
which he served valorously until captured by the enemy. He was confined 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 65 

in Andersonville prison, where he died in 1864. After the unhappy death 
of her soldier husband, Mrs. Guymon took her three children and went to 
live with her parents in Missouri, remaining there for several years, but later 
returning to Illinois. She is now making her home with her only remaining 
son, the subject of this biographical sketch, at Hutchinson, as is her only 
daughter, Irene, who married Henry Ellison. The other son, Roy, a resi- 
dent of Los Angeles, California, died in 191 1. 

Owing the straightened circumstances surrounding his youth, Edward 
T. Guymon had little opportunity for securing an education in his boyhood, 
his schooling having been confined to attendance for two or three months 
each winter for a few winters in Illinois and Missouri, and at eleven years 
of age he engaged his services to an Illinois farmer for eight dollars a month 
and worked for that man for four years, at the end of jvhich time he began 
clerking in a store at Coalsburg, Illinois, where he worked until the spring 
of 1879, when he came to Kansas, stopping at McPherson, where he was 
employed for a time as a carpenter's helper. He then secured a place as a 
clerk in the store of L. H. Thompson, now a resident of Hutchinson, who 
was then engaged in business at McPherson, and remained thus engaged for 
two or three years, at the end of which time he was engaged in the Barnes 
general store, where he remained for some time. He then left McPherson 
and went to Lakin, a coal-mining town, where he remained two years, a 
part of which time he was employed as a railroad section hand, after which 
he returned to McPherson and began clerking in the Fegley store, later 
going to the Hacklethom & Northup grocery store, in the same town. Pre- 
sently, Mr. Guymon bought the interest of Mr. Northup in the store and 
was a partner in the business for three years, at the end of which time he 
sold his interest and secured a half interest in a meat-packing plant and 
\vzs thus engaged for two years. Then Mr. Guymon, in partnership with 
Messrs. Irvin, Lloyd and Oakley, established the Star Grocery Company at 
McPherson and from that time on began to make his influence felt as a man 
of affairs. In 1888 the firm established a branch store at Liberal, this state, 
and Mr. Guymon took charge of the same in person, remaining there for 
three years. In 1901 he moved to Lewistown, Illinois, where for two years 
he was engaged in the ma,nufacture of a grain weigher, at the same time 
retaining his ownership of the store at Liberal, the Star Grocery Company 
meanwhile having dissolved. The Star store at Liberal had grown to be an 
extensive wholesale as well as retail store, supplying the trade throughout 
that section of the state, as well as in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, New 

(5a) 



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66 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Mexico and Colorado. In the meantime Mr. Guymon was rapidly developing 
other interests and in 1902 moved to Hutchinson, where he ever since has 
resided, operating his extensive business connections from that central point, 
and has long been regarded as one of the most substantial citizens of central 
Kansas. Upon locating at Hutchinson he bought the beautiful Wood home 
at 10 19 North Main street and is still living tljere. 

Among the numerous concerns in which Mr. Guymon is actively inter- 
ested is the Guymon-Petro Wholesale Grocery Company, of Hutchinson, 
of which he is president; the Commercial National Bank, of Hutchinson, 
of which he is vice-president; a director and one of the founders of the 
Hutchinson Electric Light and Water Company; vice-president of the Lib- 
eral Elevator and Hutchinson Termmal Elevator Company and director of 
H outran Loan and X^^st Company; vice-president of the American Ware- 
house Company; former president of the Guymon Bank of Oklahoma, be- 
sides which he is the owner of grocery stores in several towns in Kansas, 
Oklahoma, Colorado, Nevada and Canada, and has been interested in a num- 
ber of cattle ranch corporations. It was in 1902, the year in which he took 
up his residence in Hutchinson, that Mr. Guymon laid out and founded the 
town of Guymon, named after himself, in Oklahoma. That town has grown 
to be a place of more than eighteen hundred population, with about forty- 
five business establishments. Mr. Guymon was president of the company 
which promoted the town and is actively interested in a Tiumber of enter- 
prises in the place, such as grain elevators, stores and the bank, the latter of 
which Mr. Guymon founded and was for some time its president. Mr. Guy- 
mon also has railroad and other interests, his combined connections easily 
making him one of the leading capitalists of Kansas. Mr. Guymon is a 
Republican and while living at Liberal served as a member of the city coun- 
cil, but has never sought other offices. 

In June, 1887, Edward T. Guymon was united in marriage to Frances 
Mary Flagg, who was born in Illinois, daughter of George and Mary Flagg, 
the former of whom died in 1900 and the latter of whom is still living. To 
this union one child has been born, a son, Edward Tindall, Jr., bona on 
June 8, 1900. Mr. Guymon is a thirty-second-degree Mason and a noble of 
the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a member 
of the consistory and the shrine at Wichita, and takes a warm interest in 
Masonic affairs. He is a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club and 
the Country Qub and in the affairs of both of those local organizations he 
takes an active interest. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 67 

REV. DANIEI- MONTIETH MOORE, D. D. 

The minutes of the first meeting of the presbytery of the Presbyterian 
church of this section of Kansas following the death of the lamented Rev. 
Daniel Montieth Moore, D. D., in 1900, carries the following tribute of 
respect and expression of esteem for the memory of a great and good man; 
a man who had done very much for the spiritual and cultural advancement 
of this part of the state: 

'^Doctor Moore was a ripe scholar, always a student, not only of the 
Scriptures, but also of the best literature and current events. The honorary 
degree of Doctor of Divinity was worthily bestowed upon him by his alma 
mater in 1897. Doctor Moore was an old-time gentleman of rare dignity 
and commanding presence and was distinguished for his urbanity and hos- 
pitality. His religious experience was rich and refined in his declining 
years." 

Daniel Montieth Moore, who was the first ordained clergyman to pro- 
claim the message of the Gospel in Reno county, was a native of Ohio, 
having been born in the village of Cortsville, in Mahoning county, that state, 
on January 2, 1824. At the age of fourteen, having then completed the 
course in his home school, he was sent by his parents to live with his uncle, 
the Rev. John Montieth, at Elmira, Ohio, and under the fine influence of 
that good clerg>^man he was reared to useful manhood. Upon completing 
the high-school course at Elmira, the studious lad was sent to the academy 
at Darlington. Pennsylvania, from which he was lyesently graduated, after 
which he entered Western University at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 
which he was graduated at the age of twenty-two, after which he entered 
Lane Theological Seminary at Cincinnati, from which sterling old sectarian 
institution he was graduated three years later, and presently was ordained 
a minister of the Gospel by his home presbytery. For a short time after 
his ordination, the Rev. Daniel M. Moore was engaged as acting pastor of a 
country church in Brown county, Ohio, and it was while thus living his 
"day of small things" that he married, in June, 1849, Ellen McMillan, 
daughter of Captain McMillan, of Ripley, Ohio, who died on November 6, 
1850, leaving one child, born on April 22, 1850, which died on August 11, 
of that same year. At Manchester, Ohio, Deceml^er 30, 1851, Rev. Daniel 
M. Moore married, secondly, Mary A. Ellison, daughter of William and 
Mary K. Ellison, who was a faithful and competent helpmate during his 
long and difficult ministry. 

The first charge to which the Rev. Daniel H. Moore was called and in 



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68 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

which he was installed as pastor was the Second Presbyterian church of 
Greenfield, Ohio, the congregation of which he served as pastor for a period 
of twelve years, at the end of which time he accepted a call from the Pres- 
byterian church at Yellow Springs, Ohio, and was pastor of that church for 
nearly five years. In 1868 he accepted a call from the **new school," or 
"free," Presbyterian church at Lawrence, this state, and thus began his 
long period of ministerial service in Kansas. Doctor Moore, during ante- 
bellum days, ever had been possessed of strong anti-slavery convictions and 
had acquiesced in the division of the church on that question, but upon the 
removal of the cause of this division was among the first to seek a recon- 
ciliation between the two wings of the church and it was during his pastor- 
ate of the "free" church at Lawrence and largely through his efforts that the 
"new school" and the "old school" churches in that city were reunited, both 
pastors resigning in order that the united church might call a new pastor. 
In 1873, two years after the founding of the town of Hutchinson, Doctor 
Moore accepted the call of the little Presbyterian church at that point to 
"come over and help us," and thus became the first ordained minister of the 
Gospel to preach in Reno county. The Presbyterian church at Hutchinson 
at that time was composed of but ^even members, but during the seven years 
of Doctor Moore's pastorate there the growth of the congregation was pro- 
portionately much larger than was the growth of the town. During these 
seven years of earnest and consecrated effort on the part of Doctor Moore 
that good minister so impressed his individuality upon the congregation 
and upon the community as a whole as to give to that pioneer church the 
sterling characteristics thaf still distinguish it, he clearly having laid the firm 
foundation uix)n which its present strength is built. 

It was during his pastorate at Hutchinson that Doctor Moore was 
selected as a memjjer of the committee which organized the presbytery with 
which the Presbyterian church at that point is still connected, and it was he 
and the Rev. Mr. Overstreet who drew the first standing rules for the gov- 
ernment of the presbytery, and no other man has been so long of so effi- 
ciently connected with the work. of the presbytery as was he. Upon leaving 
Hutchinson, in 1880, Doctor Moore filled charges at Carthage, Illinois; 
Columbus, Kansas; Ft. Worth, Texas, and El Paso, same state, and .in 1887 
returned to Hutchinson to pass the remainder of his days among the mem- 
bers of his family and among the firm friends he had made during the time 
of his long pastorate there in pioneer days. His interest in Hutchinson and 
in her people never waned and in the very hour of his death, at a few min- 
utes past nine o'clock on August 2, 1900, the aged clergyman feebly ex- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 69 

t 

pressed his regret that the state of his health would prevent his attendance 
on the annual meeting of the old settlers of Reno county that was being 
held in Hutchinson that day. 

To the Rev. Daniel M. and Mary K. f Ellison) Moore three children 
were born, W. E. »Moore, of Feru, Illinois ; E. M. Moore, manager of the 
Hutchinson Printing Company, of Hutchinson, and Mrs. E. L. Meyer, wife 
of the president of the First National Bank of Hutchinson. 

Edward M. Moore was born in the town of Greenfield, Highland 
county, Ohio, in i86r, during the period of his father s pastorate at that 
place and he was seven years of age when he came with his parents to Kan- 
sas in 1868. His early schooling was received at Lawrence and he remained 
tiiere until in March, 1874, when he followed his father to Hutchinson and 
became **devil," or printer's factotum in the office of the Hutchinson News. 
In the early fall of that year, W. F. Wallace started the Independent in 
Hutchinson and young Moore transferred his services to that paper, con- 
tinuing as printer there under the successive ownerships of E. Conway 
Bruffy, a Virginian, and Jap Turpin, an Indianian. When the Interior 
Herald w'as launched by W. C. Bowles, J. W. Kauaga and others, with 
Henry Inman as editor, Mr. Moore went over to that paper, serving the 
owners thereof as printer until they sold to J. W. Kauaga, after which he 
continued with the latter owner for three years, doing the printing of the 
paper under contract. In 1882 Mr. Moore left Hutchinson for a time and 
went to Peru, Illinois, w^here he was engaged as shipping clerk 'by the 
Illinois Zinc Company until 1886, in which year he returned to Hutchinson 
and engaged there in the plumbing business for one year, at the end of 
which time he resumed his connection with the printing trades, taking 
employment in the printing department of the Hutchinson News, under R. 
M. Eansley, editor. Presently Mr. Moore w^as given charge of the circula- 
tion department of the Nct^^s and when the Sponslers bought the paper he 
was made advertising manager. In 1895 Edward M. Moore and W. Y. 
Morgan bought the Hutchinson Daily News, Mr. Moore acting as business 
manager of the same until 1908. In 1909 the Hutchinson Printing Com- 
pany ("J^y Hawker Press"') was incorporated to take over the job-printing 
department of the News, that paper no longer to engage in the jol>printing 
business, and Mr. Moore was made manager of the same, which position 
he still holds, retaining his interests in lx)th the printing company and the 
newspaper. 

Edward M. Moore has been twice married, his first wife having been 
Clara A. Mclnturff, who was born in Trenton, Missouri, daughter of 



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yO RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Andrew and Lucretia Mclnturff, early settlers of Reno county, who home- 
steaded a place in Lincoln township in 1873, later moving to Hutchinson, 
where Mr. Mclnturff became a well-known photographer, in which business 
he continued until his death. Mrs. Moore died in 1908, without issue, and 
on August II, 191 1, Edward M. Moore married, secondly, Belle Rice, who 
was born in Ohio, daughter of George and Elizabeth Rice, the former of 
whom, now deceased, for years was a well-known building contractor in 
Hutchinson, who erected the Masonic Temple, numerous school buildings 
and other important buildings throughout the city and county, and whose 
widow is now making her home with Mr^ and Mrs. Moore. 

Mr. Moore is very prominently connected with the order of the United 
Commercial Travelers, in the affairs of which he takes a warm and active 
interest. He has served as the grand treasurer in the state organization of 
that popular association and has several times been a delegate to the national 
conventions of the organization. 



SAMUEL G. PUTERBAUGH. 

Samuel G. I*uterbaugh, a well-known retired banker of Hutchinson, this 
county, is a native of Ohio, he having been born on a farm in the Xenia 
neighborhood of that state on November 11, 1840, son of David and Cath- 
erine (Snyder) Puterbaugh, the former of whom, born in 1800 died in 
1864, and the latter, born in 1803, died in 1853. 

David Puterbaugh was born near the town of Hagerstown, Pennsyl- 
vania, and was reared on a farm there. Following his marriage, he and 

his wife moved to Greene county, Ohio, where they lived on a farm until 

* 
1850, in which year they moved with their family to Illinois, settling in 

Tazewell county, where they established a new home, in which Mrs. Puter- 
baugh died three years later. David Puterbaugh lived until 1864 and became 
one of the well-to-do men of that section, having been the owner of more 
than one thousand acres of land. While living in Ohio, he and his wife 
were members of the German Lutheran church, but upon moving to Illi- 
nois, finding no church of their denomination there, became members of the 
Christian church. They were the parents of ten children, of whom only one 
besides the subject of this biographical review is now surviving, David 
Puterbaugh, a real-estate speculator and traveling salesman, of Kansas City. 
Another brother, John Puterbaugh was for years a resident of Hutchinson, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. ' 7 1 

this county, he having been engaged in the agricultural business there and, 
in boom times, was well known as a real-estate speculator. He died in 1888. 
Samuel G. Puterbaugh was ten years of age when his family moved 
from Ohio to Illinois and in the latter state he went to school but one year. 
He grew up on the farm in Tazewell county and upon the first call to 
arms after Ft. Sumter had been fired on enlisted in the Eighth Regiment, 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for the three-months service, and served in that 
regiment for six months, at the end of which time he enlisted in the Third 
Illinois Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war, the greater 
part of this service having been in the Army of the West, under General 
Grant. Mr. Puterbaugh was wounded twice, once in 1862 and again in 
1863. At the battle of Lafayette, Mississippi, he was taken prisoner and 
for eight months was kept in durance by the Confederates, for one month 
at Mobile and the remainder of the time in Belle Isle, Richmond. He then 
was exchanged and until the end of the war served in the Tennessee cam- 
paign, near Memphis and Vicksburg. 

At the close of the war, Mr. Puterbaugh engaged in the dry-goods busi- 
ness at Mackinaw, in Tazewell county, Illinois, in partnership with his 
brother John, which connection continued for three years, at the end of 
^hich time the brothers sold their store, John coming to Kansas and Samuel 
G. moving to Pekin, county seat of his home county, where for four years 
'^e served as deputy clerk of the circuit court, at the end of which time he 
f^came a candidate for the office of county c)erk, on the Greeley ticket, and 
^as defeated by only sixty votes. He then went to Chicago, where he 
entered the service of the John V. Farwell Company, wfth which he was 
connected for five years in the capacity of a traveling salesman, after which 
^^ transferred his services to Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company and was 
for twenty-five years engaged with that company as a general salesman, 
having charge of their Kansas territory, meanwhile making his home in 
Chicago. He then became interested in the Webb-Freyschlag Company at 
Kansas City and, resigning his position in Chicago, moved to Kansas City 
^^^ took charge of that company's affairs. This work, however, proved too 
confining and in 1904 Mr. Puterbaugh traded a part of his stock in the 
Webb-Freyschlag Company for a general store at Lyons, this state, and 
moved to the latter place, where he lived for two years. Upon finding his 
health completely restored he came to this county in 1907, locating at Hutch- 
inson, where he organized the Reno State Bank, though still retaining his 
•store at Lyoi)s. He was elected the first president of the Reno State Bank 
and served that institution in that capacity until the time of his retirement 



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^2 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

from active business affairs, and still makes his home in Hutchinson, being 
the owner of a very pleasant home at POo6 North Maine street, of modern 
style and very attractive, built in 191 1. 

On February 16, 1887, Samuel G. Puterbaugh was united in marriage 
to Nora L. Webb, who was born in Macon, Illinois, and who is a reader 
in the Christian Science church at Hutchinson. Mr. and Mrs. Puterbaugh 
have an adopted daughter, Elizabeth B., who was bom in November, 1909. 
Mr. Puterbaugh is an active member of the Grahd Army of the Republic. 



MARTIN CHARLES BUSSINGER. 

Martin Charles Bussinger, one of the best-known retired farmers of 
Reno county, now living in Hutchinson, former trustee of Center township, 
an honored veteran of the Civil War and one of the real pioneers of this 
county, he having been a resident here since the year 1873, is a native of 
Ohio, having been born in the village of Gnadenhutten, Tuscarawas county, 
that state, Jime 2, 1843, son of Anselm and Sarah (Keiser) Bussinger, the 
former a native of the republic of Switzerland and the latter of Pennsylvania, 
bom in the city of Philadel^ia. 

Anselm Bussinger was born in 1802 and was about nine years old when 
he came to this country from Switzerland with his parents in 181 1, the 
family locating in the city of Philadelphia, where young Anselm grew to 
manhood and wjiere he learned the cabinet-maker's trade. He married in 
that city Sarah Keiser, who was born in Philadelphia in 1806, daughter of 
a physician, and presently moved to Gnadenhutten, in Tuscarawas county, 
where he was for some years engaged at his trade of cabinet-making, later, 
in April, 1859, moving to Indiana and locating on a farm in the neighborhood 
of the city of Terre Haute. Years later he and his wife came to Kansas and 
their last days were spent in this state, his death occuring in Reno county in 
1876 and hers, ten years later, in 1886, in Kingman county. Anselm Buss- 
inger was a Republican and he and his wife were members of the Congrega- 
tional church. They were the parents of six children, those besides the 
subject of this biographical review being as follow! Henrietta, born in 
Philadelphia, who married Dr. Samuel B. Livingston ; Henry, born in Phila- 
delphia; John, bom in Pittsburgh; Sophia, bor-n at Gnadenhutten, Ohio, and 
Louisa, also born at the last named place, which also was the birthplace of 
M. C. Bussinger. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 73 

Martin C. Bussinger was about sixteen years of age when the family 
moved from Ohio to Indiana, in the spring of 1859, locating on a farm in 
the Terre Haute neighborhood, and he was living there when the Civil War 
broke out. Upon the call for volunteers to defend the flag and suppress the 
rebellion, Mr. Bussinger, following the example of thousands of other 
patriotic young men of Indiana, abandoned his civil pursuits and offered his 
services as a soldier. He enlisted in Company K, Eighty-fifth Regiment, 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which was organized at* Terre Haute, John P. 
Baird, colonel; Lewis Pucket, captain of Company K. The Eighty-fifth 
Indiana was mustered in on August 12, 1862, and was mustered out, June 
12, 1865, at the close of the war. Mr. Bussinger followed the fortunes of 
this regiment from the start to finish, participating in the marches and minor 
skirmishes, in the early months of service, in Kentucky and Tennessee; the 
severe engagement at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 3, 1863, when 
. the greater part of the brigade to which the regiment was attached was over- 
whelmed by a superior force and taken prisoners; in the Atlanta campaign 
imder Sherman, participating in the battles of Resaca, Dallas, Culp's Farm, 
Peach Tree Creek and others ; in the march to the sea, the siege and capture 
of Savannah ; thence through the Carolinas, participating in the last severe 
engagement of the war, at Averysboro, North Carolina; thence on to Ben- 
tonville', Goldsboro and Raleigh, being stationed at the latter place when 
Lee surrendered; thence on to Washington, participtating in the final Grand 
Review of the army at the close of the war. 

During Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea, the army was wholly 
dependent upon the country through which it passed for subsistence. Details 
were made from the several commands and sent out each day, some dist^ince 
from the line of march, to gather food and forage. These details were under 
command of an officer and a strong guard as a protection against straggling 
bands of the enemy. Not infrequently soldiers of Sherman's army would 
leave the command to forage on their own account, taking the risk of being 
captured and severely deal with by the enemy. Mr. Bussinger took a risk 
of this kind, and a narration of his expferience in getting, back with his 
"supplies" to the "safety zone" will be of interest in this personal sketch. 

"It was dangerous business, going out foraging," said he, "for the 
'Johnnies' were prowling about all the time. Once I came very near being 
captured. I was sent by my lieutenant down to a white house to forage 
around for food. He said it was half a mile, but I found it a good deal 
farther. 



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74 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

'There were three women on the porch. I kept my eye on them, for I 
didn't want to take any chances and I wasn't sure whether or not they would 
fight. I backed away from them, meanwhile keeping an eye on them, while 
I searched for food. In the smoke house I found some sides of bacon, sev- 
eral of which I hung to my saddle and then started off. I didn't have a gun 
and when I saw a man ahead I made an effort to get away, but he saw me 
and took after me calling on me to surrender; but I kept on going and 
finally got away. I found that the 'Johnnies' had driven my company away 
when I got back to where I had left it, and I had a close call in finding my 
company. 

'*At another time, soon after leaving Atlanta, I went out foraging on 
my own hook. We were getting short of food and I was mighty hungry. 
I decided to go out and see what I could get. I was warned not to go, for 
the rebels were all around us, and they were hanging every forager they 
caught and filling the bodies full of bullets. But I decided that I'd take a 
chance. I was so hungry that I didn't much care ; I'd about as soon be killed 
as to die of starvation, I thought. So, early the next morning, I struck out 
before the boys were up. In a short time I came to a house and after looking 
around found I was safe. Finding a sack of flour in the house I picked up 
the sack and started off with it. I ran across an old negro and' made him 
carry the sack for me. He begged hard to be relieved, as he said there were 
rebels all around; 'they's thousands of 'em right over dar in de woods,' he 
said, but I made him go ahead and carry the sack. He begged every step of the 
way, and was almost scared to death, for fear there'd be a 'reb' behind a tree 
ahead. Finally, we got to the road which would take me to our lines, when 
I saw some chickens that tempted me. I knew I'd better be hurrying along, 
but I couldn't leave those chickens. The old negro kept insisting that the 
'rebs' were coming, but I made him catch three hens and a mule for me. 
Then, with my sack of flour and three chickens on the mule, I struck off 
down the road. I didn't meet any *rebs' and got back to camp safe with the 
supplies. We had good eating in my mess for a few days." 

After his discharge from the army, at the close of the war, Mr. Buss- 
inger returned to Terre Haute and remained there until the fall of 1866, 
when he went to Coles county, Illinois, where he remained for about two 
years, working on a farm, and where he was married, after which he moved 
to Iowa and located at Charitan, in Lucas county, where he remained until 
the fall of 1873, when he and his family came to Kansas and located in Reno 
county, where they ever since have made their home. It was in September, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 75 

1873^ that Mr. Bussinger settled on his homestead in Center township, this 
count: 3% he and his family thus having been among the earliest pioneers of 
thatt p>art of the county. He developed that homestead farm and became a 
larg"^ landowner and one of the most influential residents of the county. For 
year^ he served as trustee of Center township, and in other ways did his 
part in the development of the civic interests of the community. Mr. Buss- 
inger- is a Republican and has, ever since coming to this county, given his 
^^a^rn^st attention to local political affairs. In 1901 Mr. Bussinger sold his 
t^rix-E and moved to Hutchinson, where he started his children in business and 
\ias since then lived retired. 

It was on December 2, 1867, i" Coles county, Illinois, that Martin C. 

Bussinger was united in marriage to Sarah C. Johnston, who also was born 

^" Tuscarawas county, Ohio, November 2, 1842, daughter of Christopher 

and Grace L. (Kennedy) Johnston, the former a native of Ireland and the 

lattei- of Ohio, and to this union ten children were bom, three of whom died 

^n in fancy, the others being as follow : Gracie, bom in Coles county, Illinois, 

who married Lincoln S. Davis and died at Partridge, leaving a daughter, 

Charlotte G. ; Charles, born in Lucas county, Iowa, who married Eliza Paine; 

'^^rth^,, also born in Lucas county, who married George H. Pickens, a Reno 

count3r farmer, and has five children, George, Grace, Bertha, Claude and 

3rol^; Harry, bom on the homestead farm in Center township, who married 

ot:>i^ Pickens and has four children, Charles, William, George and Robert ; 

^-*€r^x-fce, bom in Center township, who married Selma Austman; Louise, 

^^ i n Center township, who married C. E. Pickens, a Reno county farmer, 

^ J^ss three children, Carl, Helen and Francis, and Annette, also born in 

^^^x- township, who married H. L. Eales, proprietor of an automobile 

^^^'■^ shop at Hutchinson, and has one child, Bertha. 

^^If. and Mrs. Bussinger are earnest meml^ers of the Methodist church 

^^Dr years have been active in the work of that denomination in this county. 

I^o»r^ coming to this county they brought their letters from the Methodist 

^^^^l at their former home and put the same with these of the congregation 

, ^«~>e First Methodist church at Hutchinson, with which they ever since 

^ been connected. Mr. Bussinger was a member of the original building 

^ ^^'■^fcnittee of the church and was superintendent of construction when the 

^ church was built ; also, as an officer of the church, taking an active part 

^ ^^^Xe work of refurnishing and decorating the edifice in February, 1908. 

^ is now a meml>er of the board of trustees of the First Methodist church 

^^ <:ontinues to maintain his warm interest in the affairs of the same. 



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76 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

PET NATION. 

Pet Nation, cattleman and banker, vice-president of the First National 
Bank of Hutchinson and for years one of the leading factors in the com- 
mercial and financial life of that city, though a Hoosier by birth has been a 
resident of Kansas since he was a boy fourteen years old and a resident of 
this county since he was eighteen, hence is as true and loyal a son of Reno 
as though "native and to the manner born.*' He was bom on a farm in 
Henry county, Indiana, in 1864, son of Sylvan and Sarah Nation, both 
natives of that state, the latter of whom died in 1903, at the age of sixty- 
two, and the former of whom is living at Emporia, this state, in his eightieth 
year, for many years one of the best-known cattlemen in that section of the 
state. 

It was in 1881 that Sylvan Nation left his farm in Indiana and with 
his family came to Kansas. He located at Emporia and in that vicinity 
^^g<ig^d in the cattle business on a constantly growing scale until he presently 
became known as one of the most extensive ranchmen in the state and is 
still actively engaged in the business in which for years he has made so 
distinct a success. His three sons followed in his footsteps and all became 
successful, the subject of this sketch having two brothers, Fred and CarU 
who are largely engaged in the cattle business, with headquarters at Emporia. 

Pet Nation was seventeen years old when the family came to Kansas 
in t88i and he at once entered, heart and soul, into the fine free life of the 
oi>en range. As a cowboy on his father's ranch, he reached his physical 
growth early and learned the cattle business from the bottom up, early 
becoming a thoroughly experienced and competent cattleman. When 
eighteen years old, in 1882, he came to Reno county and started in the cattle 
business on his own account. Six years later, in 1888, following his mar- 
riage, he moved onto a half section of land in the northern part of Reno 
township, on Cow creek, and there established his home, but presently his 
operations had expanded to such a point that he found he could conduct 
his affairs more advantageously from the vantage ground of the city and in 
1890 he moved from the farm into Hutchinson, where he ever since has 
made his home, directing his cattle business and other extensive interests 
from that point. Some time after locating in Hutchinson Mr. Nation sold 
his Reno county ranch and bought a much more extensive ranch over in 
Chase county, which ^ he has since operated very successfully. He also is 
activelv identified with the financial and commercial interests of this corn- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 77 

munity and as vice-president of the First National Bank of Hutchinson, the 
oldest and strongest financial institution in central Kansas, is recognized 
as one of the leading and most influential factors in the financial life of this 
section of the state, and has done much to advance the material welfare of 
the community. 

In 1888 Mr. Nation was nmited in marriage to Nettie Price, daughter 
of P. B. and Sarah Price, the former of whom, for years was one of 
Hutchinson's leading real-estate men, is now deceased and the latter of 
whom is still living in Hutchinson. To this union one child has been born, 
a daughter, Eula, who married Edward W. Meyer, assistant cashier of the 
First National Bank of Hutchinson, and lives at 510 Avenue A, east. In 
1902 Mr. Nation erected a fine residence at 512 Avenue A, east, and there 
he and his wife are very pleasantly situated. Mr. Nation is a member of 
the Hutchinson Commercial Club and takes an earnest interest in the aflfairs 
of that organization, constantly on the alert to promote any movement hav- 
ing to do with the further development of his home town. 



CAPT. JOHN M. HEDRICK. 

Capt. John M. Hedrick, who enjoys the local distinction of being the 
only man ever elected to three terms as sheriff of Reno county, is a veteran 
-X>f the Civil War and one of the real pioneers of this county, he having come 
here the year after the first permanent settlement in the county, when this 
section was a virgin plain, buffaloes and hostile Indians then roaming at 
will hereabout. 

John M. Hedrick was born in Clark county, Ohio, August 22, 1840, 
son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Patterson) Hedrick, the former of whom was 
a native of Kentucky and the latter of Pennsylvania. • Isaac Hedrick was a 
prominent farmer and stock buyer and drover, well known throughout 
eastern and central Ohio, whose custom it was to buy up cattle, fatten them 
on his farm and drjve them to the eastern markets. During the Civil War 
he served the Union cause as a member of the famous Ohio "squirrel hunters" 
and was a patriotic and influential citizen, eight of whose sons served as 
soldiers in the Union army during the war and the eldest of whom, David, 
also had been a soldier in the Mexican War. Isaac Hedrick was twice mar- 
ried, his first wife, mother of the subject of this sketch, having been the 
mother of seven 'children. Following her death, Mr.* Hedrick married a 



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78 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

widow who had five children by her former marriage and to this second 
union ten children were born, making twenty-two children in the Hedrick 
family. Captain Hedrick has but one full brother living, William, a farmer, 
who lives at Palmyra, Missouri. Another brother, Joseph, now deceased, 
was for years a well-known painter in Hutchinson, this county. 

The boyhood of John M. Hedrick was spent upon the paternal farm 
in Ohio, school periods being limited to attendance three months a year in a 
little log school house, and very early he began assisting his father in the 
business of driving cattle, making trips through Ohio and into Illinois and 
Indiana after cattle, which later would be driven to eastern markets. He 
spent the winter of 1859 with his brother in Brown county, Illinois, return- 
ing the next spring to his home in Ohio. On April 17, 1861, John M. 
Hedrick enlisted, at Columbus, Ohio, in Company F, Tw^enty-second Regi- 
ment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in response to the President's call for three- 
months volunteers. In September of that same year he re-enlisted, this 
time taking service in the Fourth Ohio Cavalry, with \yhich he served until 
July, 1865, a period of nearly four years. He was mustered in as a private, 
but gradually was promoted and in the summer of 1864 was made the capn 
tain of his company. Captain Hedrick's service throughout the war was 
with the Army of the Cumberland and he participated in most of the severe 
engagements undertaken by that great army. On his twenty-fourth birth- 
day, during Kilpatrick's raid at Lovejoy Station, near Atlanta, Captain Hed- 
rick was wounded and for a time was laid up in the hospital. During 
Sherman's march to the sea he was in Wilson's cavalry brigade and fought 
at Stone's River and in all the cavalry raids around Chattanooga and 
Atlanta. Seven of Captain Hedrick's brothers also served the Union cause 
as soldiers during the Civil War and at one time one of his half-brothers, 
Louis, was serving in his company. 

At the close of the war Captain Hedrick returned home and married 
and in 1868 went to Brown county, Illinois, where he bought a farm and 
there remained for two years, at the end of which time he sold out and 
moved to Grundy county, Missouri, where he remained two years, engaged 
in farming, and then came to Kansas, arriving in Reno county on September 
17, 1872, only one year after the first permanent settlement in the county. 
Captain Hedrick homesteaded a claim in Lincoln township and also '^proved 
up'' a timber claim in the vicinity of his homestead, and there established a 
new home. In the spring of 1875, Captain Hedrick was the hero of an 
incident which effectually put a stop to further attempts at claim "jumping" 
in Reno county. The claim of Fay Smith, a neighbor of Captain ^Hedrick 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 79 

^^ the later deputy sheriff under him, had been "jumped" by a man of 

'^^ name of Pierce. This action aroused the pioneers of that section and 

J|out forty of them gathered, under Captain Hedrick's direction, captured 

^^rce and under threats to drown him in a pool in the creek on the Hed- 

^k farm compelled him to sign a relinquishment of his claim and get out 

the country. This incident made Captain Hedrick the hero of Reno 

^^nty and that fall he was elected sheriff on the Republican ticket. He 

"^^ re-elected to that office in the next election, serving two terms of two 

^ . ^^ each, and then waited two years and was again a candidate and was 

jj^ >^^f>hantly re-elected, thus having the distinction of being the only man 

' /^i^^o county who has served three terms as sheriff. Following his service 

^ ^ sheriff's office, Captain Hedrick returned to his farm, where he lived 

V^ars, at the end of which time he sold his Lincoln township home- 

'^^.O and bought three hundred and twenty acres in the northeast part of 

that same township, where he lived until 1904, in which year he retired from 

the active life of the farm and moved into Hutchinson. In 1906 he bought 

ten acres in South Hutchinson, where he has a very pleasant home and 

\vhere he is living in quiet retirement. 

On November 9, 1865, Capt. John M. Hedriclc was united in marriage 
to Catherine Kneister, of Madison county, Ohio,, to which union three chil- 
dren were born, Dolly, who married Alfred Wainner and lives in Lincoln 
township; Johanna, who married Benjamin S. Wainner, a clerk in the post- 
office at Hutchinson, and Edward, a farmer, living near Big Sandy, Mon- 
tana. The mother of these children died on August 21, 1897, and on Janu- 
ar}' 2, 1901, Captain Hedrick married, secondly, Mrs. Mary (Ingraham) 
Wilson, widow of Smith Wilson, who died in 1895, ^^^ daughter of Oliver 
and Mary Ingraham. Oliver Ingraham died when his daughter, Mary, 
was three years of age and his widow and chiklren moved from the^ir home 
in Blair county, Pennsylvania, to this county, in 1879, and bought a farm in 
Reno township, where they established a new home. 

Captain Hedrick is an ardent Republican and from the day of his com- 
ing to Reno county has taken a warm interest in civic affairs. In addition 
to his distinguished services as sheriff of the county back in pioneer days, he 
also served as justice of the peace for years and in other ways has given 
his most intelligent attention to good government. He is a member of the 
Grand Army of the Republic and for years has given close attention to the 
affairs of the local post. He also is a member of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, in the affairs of which he also is warmly interested. 



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.8o RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

GEORGE HIRST. 

The late George Hirst, for many years one of the best-known and most 
popular farmers of Lincoln township, this county, whose death on October 
29, 191 5, was the occasion of much sorrow in that community, was a native 
of Wisconsin, having been born in the town of Darlington, that state, Jan- 
uary 13, 1856, son of George and Elizabeth (Brilbrough) Hirst, both natives 
of England, whose last days were spent in Reno county, they having been 
for years highly respected residents of Lincoln township. 

George Hirst was born in the city of Leeds, England, and grew up there, 
becoming a very proficient cabinet-maker. Shortly after their marriage he 
and his wife came to the United States, settling at Janesville and later at 
Darlington, Wisconsin, where for twenty years Mr. Hirst followed the 
trade of carpenter, during that time doing much for the upbuilding of the 
town. In the fall of 1872 George Hirst came to Kansas, homesteaded a 
tract of land in section 6, of Lincoln township, and there established his 
family in the spring of 1873. The Hirsts at once entered actively into the 
community life of that section and it was not long until they were regarded 
as one of the most substantial and useful families in the neighborhood. Mr. 
Hirst served for one term as a member of the school board, and in other ways 
displayed his interest in the common good. He died on July 25, 1897, ^"^ 
his widow survived until September 25, 1914, her death occurring at Hutch- 
inson, in which city she had made her home in her later years. •They were 
the parents of eight children, of whom George, the immediate subject of 
this memorial sketch, was the eldest son and the third child, in order of 
birth. Further details of the liistory of this interesting pioneer family are 
set out in the biographical sketch relating to William Hirst, a prosperous 
farmer, of Lincoln township, presented elsewhere in this volume. 

George Hirst spent his boyhood in his native town of Darlington, Wis- 
consin, receiving his education in the schools of that city, and was seventeen 
years old when he came with his parents to Reno county in 1873, the family 
being among the very earliest settlers of Lincoln township. His father was 
not in robust health and George, the eldest son, early became the mainstay 
in the labor of developing the homestead farm. Upon him fell very largely 
the difficult task of "breaking out*' the prairie and he lived at home, practi- 
cally managing the place, until ten months after his marriage, in 1882. A 
year previous to his marriage, Mr. Hirst had bought a tract of eighty acres 
adjoining his father's farm and on this place he remodeled the house that 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 8 1 

then was standing there and in it established his home. He later bought 
another "eighty," a mile east of his home and in 1914, upon the death of his 
mother, bought eighty acres of the old homestead tract, besides which he 
was the owner of a one-third interest in a half section of land in Troy town- 
ship, and at the time of his death was accounted one of the most substantial 
and progressive farmers in that part of the county. Not only was he diligent 
in his own business, but he had a fine regard for the public service and had 
rendered efficient and valuable aid in carrying on the functions of local gov- ' 
emment, having sensed as treasurer of the local school board for more than 
thirty years and for some time also served as township clerk. He was not 
an intense partisan in his political allegiance, ever supporting such candidates 
for office as he regarded best qualified for the offices sought, irrespective of 
their party indorsement. Mr. Hirst was a member of the American Order 
of United Workmen, in the affairs of which organization he' took a warm 
interest, and was held in high regard by his neighbors and throughout the 
county generally, he having had, as a pioneer, a wide acquaintance through- 
out this whole region. 

On December 25, 1883, George Hirst was united in marriage to Elma 
Templin, who was born in the village of Elizabeth City, Indiana, November 
14, 1858, daughter of Lancy Jefferson and Mary Ann (Learner) Templin, 
the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Pennsylvania. As a young 
man Lancy J. Templin became an ordained minister of th^ Methodist church 
and for some years was a preacher in a Howard county ^circuit in his home 
state. Becoming afflicted with an asthmatic affection, he sought relief in the 
ideal climate of this section and in 1876 came to Kansas, locating at Hutch- 
inson. For several years he was engaged as a school teacher and after a 
period of admirable and useful service in that connection rented a farm near 
Hutchinson and for four or five years was engaged in farming. In the spring 
of 1882 he and his wife moved to Canon City, Colorado, and there Mr. 
Templin was engaged in raising fruit and garden stuff for several years, 
at the end of which time he moved to California and after a residence ot 
three years in that state returned to Colorado, locating at Florence, in that 
state, where his death occurred on December 19, 1900, he then being sixty- 
five years of age. His widow, who still survives, and who celebrated the 
eighty-second anniversary of her birthday on April i, 1917, is now making her 
home with her children. To Lancy J. Templin and wife six children were 
born, as follow: Alice, who married the Rev. J. M. Clark, a minister of 
the Methodist church, was killed in a highway accident when thirty-twoj 

(6a) 



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82 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

years of age, a pony wliich she was driving having backed off an embank- 
ment, throwing Mfs. Clark in such a manner that her back was broken; 
Elma, widow of Mr. Hirst ; Ohn, for many years a member of the faculty of 
the University of Kansas at Lawrence, he now being dean of that institution; 
Lamer, whose whereabouts have long been unknown to the family; Ida, 
who married George M. Deibert, a furniture dealer and undertaker, of Ror- 
ence, Colorado, and Dana, who is engaged in the United States reclamation 
service, now stationed at Rupert, Idaho. 

For four years after coming to Reno county Mrs. Hirst taught school, 
being thus engaged in Medford, Reno and Lincoln townships, and ever has 
taken a warm interest in the social and cultural activities of the community, 
her capable and useful services in that connection being greatly appreciated, 
particularly in the neighborhood in which she so long has made her home, 
and she is held in the highest esteem throughout that whole section. She 
has a very pleasant home in Lincoln township and is quite comfortably sit- 
uated there, two of her sons continuing to make their home with her. She 
is the mother of four children, namely: Jesse Templin, born on November 
23, 1883, unmarried, who is now operating a farm which he bought near 
Pine River, Minnesota; Daisy, February 2y, 1888, who married Will E. 
Homan and lives on a farm near McAllen, Texas; Warren Leroy, Decejnber 
17, 1890, unmarried, who is the active manager of his mother's farm, and 
George Ivan, January 13, 1896, who is also still making his home with his 
mother, a valuable assistant in the operation of the home place. 



JOHN P. HARSHA. 



Former Mayor John P. Harsha, of Hutchinson, who is now living 
comfortably retired at his pleasant home at 207 Avenue A, east, in that 
city, is a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in the town of Harsha- 
ville, Beaver county, that state, September 6, 1849, son of Dr. John M. and 
Alary (Dawson) Harsha, both natives of that same county and members of 
prominent families thereabout, and both of whom are now deceased. 

Dr. John M. Harsha was a practicing physician at Harshaville, who, 
in 1854, moved to Washington county, Ohio, locating near the town of 
Marietta, where he laid out the town of Cutler, upon the completion of the 
railroad now operated by the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad 
Company, and also was the owner of other extensive land interests. In 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 83 

1872 he moved to Shawneetown, Illinois, and made his home there, practic- 
ing his profession, until 1872, in which year he came to Kansas, locating in 
Reno county, where he bought twelve hundred acres of lan3 in Lincoln 
township and lived there until 1878, when, following his election to the 
office of county surveyor, he moved to Hutchinson, the county seat, where 
he spent the rest of his Hfe, his death occurring in 1885, at the age of 
sixty-six. Doctor Harsha not only was a practicing physician of wide 
reputation hereabout, but was a civil engineer of much abihty, having learned 
surveying under his father, John Harsha, who was one of the best-known 
civil engineers in Pennsylvania in his day, and in his official capacity as 
county surveyor of Reno county performed a valuable service in behalf of 
the public. He was a Whig originally, but upon the formation of the 
Republican party became a Republican and was thereafter affiliated with 
that party. He was a member of the United Presbyterian church and ever 
was active in good works. Doctor Harsha was twice married. His first 
wife, who, before her marriage was Mary Dawson, died in i860, at the age 
of thirty-two years, leaving three children, of whom the eldest was John P. 
Harsha, the subject of this biographical review, th^ others being William 
C, a merchant of Partridge, this state, and Benoni R., who died at his home 
in Vincennes, Indiana, in October, 191 2. Following the death of the mother 
of the above children, Doctor Harsha married, secondly, in 1863, Amanda 
^/. Garen, who is now living in Kansas City, Missouri. 

John P. Harsha was five years of age when his family moved from 
Pennsylvania to Washington county, Ohio, and he received his elementary 
^ucation in the local schools of his home neighborhood, supplementing the 
same by a course in Bartlett College at Plymouth, Ohio, from which excel- 
lent old institution he was graduated, after which, in 1869, he then being 
^>venty years of age, he entered the service of the road now known as the 
Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern as secretary to the superintendent of con- 
struction, with headquarters at Shawneetown, Illinois, and remained with 
"i^t Company for eighteen years, eventually becoming traveling freight and 
passenger agent, with jurisdiction over business originating at Ohio, Missis- 
sippi and Cumberland river points. In 1882 Mr. Harsha came to Reno 
county on a visit to his father and was so highly impressed by the possi- 
ouities then presented in land investment that he bought twelve hundred 
^c^^s of land in Salt Creek and Center townships and proceeded to develop 
^^ same. In March, 1887, he moved to Hutchinson and opened a retail 
grocery store near the comer of Sherman and . Main streets, under the 
^^^ name of Harsha & Duval, which firm sold out in 1888, after which 



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84 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Mr. Harsha was instrumental in the organization of the Hutchinson Whole- 
sale Grocery Company, J. F. Greenlee, president; Frank Vincent, vice-presi- 
dent; John P. Harsha, treasurer, and J. S. George, secretary, which firm 
quickly established itself on a very substantial business footing, becoming 
known far and near throughout the territory covered by its salesmen. In 
1894 Mr. Harsha bought Mr. Greenlee's interest in the company and became 
president of the same, a position he retained until April 26, 191 5, at which 
time he retired from active business, though still retaining some of his 
former business connections and is still president of the Antheline Manu- 
facturing Company, of Hutchinson. 

From the very beginning of his residence in this county, Mr. Harsha 
has taken an active interest in political affairs and has given valuable service 
to the pubHc in a civic capacity. For three years he served as a member 
of the city council and then, in 1897, w^s elected mayor of Hutchinson on 
the Republican ticket for a term of two years. He was re-elected upon the 
expiration of that term and thus served four years. In 1903 he again was 
elevated to the office of the city's chief executive and was retained in office 
three successive terms, thus making a service of ten years in the mayor's 
office, a distinction accorded no other man in the p<)litical history of Hutch- 
inson. , During Mayor Harsha's incumbency many notable improvements 
were made in Hutchinson, including the Cow creek drainage canal, which 
was built under his administration, undoubtedly a measure which has saved 
Hutchinson some very disastrous floods and has been of great sanitary 
benefit to the whole community. In other ways, too, Mr. Harsha has 
proved his enterprise and public spirit and the people of this community 
gladly accord to him the credit of halving been the means of accomplishing 
much in behalf of the common good. 

On September 14, 1873, John P. Harsha was united in marriage to 
Aletha A. Camp1>ell, who was born in New Cumberland, Hancock county, 
Virginia, now a part of West Virginia, daughter of John and Ruth (Swear- 
engen) Campbell, both natives of that section, where all tWir lives were 
spent, and to this union four children have been born, namely: Ruth, who 
married William Snyder, a traveling salesman, and now lives in Los Angeles, 
California; May, who is living at home with her parents; Clyde B., a travel- 
ing salesman for the Hutchinson Wholesale Grocery Company, who mar- 
ried Nell Devine and makes his home in Hutchinson, and Harry, also at 
hom'e. The Harshas have a very pleasant home at 207 Avenue A, east, 
which Mr. Harsha bought in 1900. 

Mr. Harsha is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Benev- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 85 

olent and Protective Order of Elks, and takes a warm interest in the affairs 
of those two popular orders. Mrs. Harsha is a member of the Christian 
church. 



WILLIAM G. FAIRCHILD. 

William G. Fairchild, of Hutchinson, long recognized as one of the 
leading members of the bar of Reno county, is a native of New Jersey, he 
having been born in Monmouth- county, that state, the only son of Samuel 
G. and Sarah A. (Hoff). Fairchild, the former of whom died in 1909, at 
the age of eighty-one, and the latter of whom still is living at Keyport, New 
Jersey. 

Samuel G. Fairchild was for m^y years one of the l)est-known men in 
maritime circles in the East. He was the owner of an extensive line of 
ships and for eighteen years was in the service of the government as inspector 
of steamships for the third district, which includes the port of New York. 
William G. Fairchild, the only child of his parents, received his early 
education at the military school at Cheshire, Connecticut, from which he 
Was graduated in 1879, and entered Sheffield, Yale, but quitting on account 
^f ill health. As a boy and young man he spent considerable time at sea in 
various capacities, from supercargo to master, spending almost two years of 
this time in Mexico. After this he returned to the United States and was 
^^t- some time engaged in civil engineering and helped to lay out and build 
^^ tow^n of Macksville, Kansas. In 1888 he was admitted to the supreme 
^iirt: of Kansas, immediately thereafter l^ecoming the law partner of H. C. 
Johns, at Larned, w^hich mutually agreeable connection continued until the 
death of Mr. Johns in 1894. In 1892 Mr. Fairchild closed his Larned 
office and with Mr. Johns came to this county, locating at Hutchinson, the 
county seat, where he has been engaged in the practice of his profession 
^^'^^ since. After the death of Mr. Johhs, Mr. Fairchild formed a partner- 
ship with James McKinstry, which was dissolved in 1899 and a few years 
later, in 1902, he formed a partnership with Howard Lewis, which still con- 
tinues, this well-known legal firm having been very successful. 

On April 29, 1891, William G. Fairchild was united in marriage to 

EUen F. Campbell, who was born in the state of New York, daughter of 

Charles E. and Anna (Foster) CampMl, formerly of Ft. Worth, Texas, 

\v\\o are now living in Hutchinson, this county. To this Imion two chil- 

Aten have been bom, Samuel G., who, after an engineering course in the 



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86 * RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Kansas State University, is now with the Santa Fe Railroad Company, and 
Stephen J., a student in Kemper Military School at Boonville, Missouri. 
The Fairchild family has a very pleasant home at 551 Sherman street, east, 
in the city of Hutchinson. 



PROF. STEWART P. ROWLAND. 

In 1914 when the biennial question of electing a county superintendent 
of schools in Reno came up there was considerable agitation in certain 
quarters looking to the possibility of a change in the incumbency of that 
office, the argument advanced in the quarters intimated being that it was 
not "good politics" to keep on retaining, year after year, a Democrat in 
a public office in a county which then was and for years had been strongly 
Republican. The teachers of the county, getting wind of this agitation, 
put their heads together and drafted a series of resolutions, signed by prac- 
tically every teacher in the county, as w^ell as by the principal and teachers 
of the Reno county high school and the principals and teachers of the 
graded schools throughout the county. Needless to say, Professor Row- 
land, superintendent of the Reno county schools since the year 1908, was 
again re-elected by his usual handsome majority. 

The resolutions thus referred to recited, on the part of the teachers, 
the story of "the unusual record of our present superintendent" and pointed 
out some of the "remarkable results" obtained under his administration 
of the affairs of the county superintendent's office, at the same time declar- 
ing that "the consensus of opinion is that the office should remain com- 
pletely removed from politics as it has been for the past few years," urging 
that "the success of past years promises even greater success for the future" 
and declaring, in conclusion, the belief of the teachers "that the continuation 
of this great work should be left in the hands of the man most responsible 
for its recent rapid- improvement." The voters ratified these resolutions 
and Professor Rowland is still administering the affairs of his important 
office, the duties and responsibilities of which he t^kes so closely to heart 
that during the past few years he has declined several flattering propositions 
to transfer his services elsewhere, believing that his valuable labors in behalf 
of the schools of Reno county are still unfinished. 

Stewart P. Rowland was born on a farm in Noble county, Ohio, May 
27, 1870, son of Perry and Mary E. (Ellison) Rowland, the former of 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. Sj 

whom, bom in that same county in 1829, is still living and the latter, born 
about fifteen miles from the city of Liverpool, England, in 1836, died in 
June, 191 1, at her home in Reno township, this county. 

Perry Rowland was left an orphan at the tender age of four years and 
was reared in the family of James Taylor, growing up on a farm in his 
native county. Following his marriage, in that same county, he rented a 
farm and established a home of his own, later buying the place, and 
remained there until 1878, in which year he sold his Ohio farm and came, 
with his family, to Kansas, buying a quarter of a section of land north- 
west of Hutchinson, in Reno township, this county, where he still lives. 
Perry Rowland prospered in his farming operations and gradually enlarged 
his land holdings until now he is the owner of five hundred acres of choice 
land surrounding his fine home in Reno township. During the Civil War 
Perry Rowland served as a soldier in the Union army for three years, a 
member of the Ninth Ohio Cavalry, attached to the Army of the West, 
which was with Sherman to the sea. He is a Democrat and for many years 
has been regarded as one of the leaders in the civic life of the community 
in which he Hves. He is a Methodist, as was his good wife, a liberal sup- 
porter to the cause of the church, and his children were reared in that 
faith. These children, all of w^hom are living, in the order of their birth 
are as follow: John E., a prominent farmer and fruit grower of Clay 
township, this county; Charles W., also a farmer, living in Reno township; 
Eliza J., unmarried, housekeeper for her father; James P., a large land- 
owner, who also makes his home with his father; Stewart P., the immediate 
subject of this biographical sketch, and Alfred E., an extensive stockman, 
who manages his father's large farm. 

Stewart P. Rowland was eight years of age when his parents came to 
this county and his elementary education was received in the district schools 
of his home neighborhood, after which he entered Hutchinson high school 
and presently entered the ranks of Reno county's fine teaching force, appli- 
cation for his first teacher's certificate having been made at the age of six- 
teen. His success in this initial examination was the beginning of his 
useful career in the educational life of this county. The young teacher 
continued his studies while teaching, and for a few years spent his summer 
vacations in school, taking a three-years course at the Kansas Normal Col- 
lege at Ft. Scott, and later a course of two years at the University of 
Nebraska at Lincoln. His health then becoming somewhat impaired, Pro- 
fessor Rowland relinquished his studies for awhile and recuperated through 
wholesome physical labor on his father's farm, later resuming his work of 



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88 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

teaching in the district schools and in the teachers' institutes, he having 
early in his teaching career secured the necessary certificate of his qualifi- 
cations as an institute teacher, and was thus engaged until his election to the 
office of county superintendent in 1903, the duties of which he entered upon 
in May, 1909, and which he since then has been faithfully performing, 
having been re-elected in each biennial election since that time, regardless 
of the fact that he is a Democrat and that Reno county is normally Repub- 
lican; his first election having been won by a majority of one thousand 
and nineteen votes. In further . preparation for his scholastic career. Pro- 
fessor Rowland took a course in the Hutchinson Business College at 
Hutchinson, from which he was graduated and in which excellent commer- 
cial school he taught during the year following his graduation. 

Professor Rowland has a state-wide reputation as an educator and for 
some years has conducted a June normal school for teachers, the attendance 
on the last such short course having been about tAVo hundred and fifty. He 
is a member of the executive committee of the Kansas State Teachers' 
Association and at the 19 16 session of the Central Kansas Teachers' Asso- 
ciation, held at Hutchinson, wth an attendance of one thousand teachers, 
he was president of the same. In the chapter relating to education in the 
historical- section of this work, the general development of the school sys- 
tem of Reno county is admirably presented by the historian. Professor 
Rowland has been a very potent factor in that development and he very 
properly takes modest pride in his accomplishments in that direction. Pro- 
fessor Rowland owns a half section of land near Hutchinson and takes 
much interest in the development of his farm along the best approved lines 
of modern agriculture. 



EDWARD ESHER YAGGY. 

Edward Esher Yaggy, of Hutchinson, one of the best-known and most 
progressive citizens of this section of Kansas, president of the Yaggy Plan- 
tation Company, an incorporation of the great estate of the late L. W. 
Yaggy in Grant township, this county, and for years prominently identified 
with the work of developing the resources of this region, is a native of 
Chicago, born in that city, March 19, 1876, son of L. W. and Sarah E. 
(Esher). Yaggy, the former of whom was born in Plainfield, Illinois, and 
the latter in Cleveland, Ohio, both now deceased. 

Upon completing the course in the old Northwestern College at Naper- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 89 

yilk, Illinois, L. W. Yaggy went to Chicago, where he became engaged in 

^^i>iat>]ishing business and for twenty-five years was one of the best-known 

publishers in the United States. I^e was president and chief- stockholder 

ofttkG ^eat Western Publishing House, which had seventeen branch offices 

^^ fi^^-e thousand agents, throughout the United States, the principal work 

ot vv^tiich was the publication of maps and studies for colleges and high 

sch(>c>i^^ that company for years having occupied a foremost position in that 

parji^xi^jaj. branch of the publishing business in this coimtry. Mr. Yaggy 

also x^;^as quite a mechanical genius and was the patentee of numerous 

oevic^^3 of a convenient sort, the first of which was a stubble turner, which 

yields ci him considerable revenue. He also patented an adding machine, 

^^^^^t:ising devices of different types, a **royal scroll'* for the display of 

pictvix-es and a Chautauqua desk. For his notable service in preparing a 

teiv^i map of the United States for the use of the Smithsonian Institute at 

^>^sViington Mr. Yaggy w^as created a fellow of the Royal Geographical 

Society of England and was widely known in general geographic circles. 

AVhile on a hunting trip through this section of Kansas in 1888, L. W. 
I ^^g>' observed a well being dug on the Thomas Parker ranch just north- 

\ ^vest of Hutchinson and noted that the water was only a few feet below the 

surface of the soil. Recognizing the potentialities of such a condition, Mr. 
Yaggy immediately purchased the entire Parker estate of one thousand 
three hundred and fifty acres and planted the same to catalpa and apple 
trees, the revenues from which since then have amply demonstrated the 
accuracy of his foresight. The plantation now bears five hundred acres of 
catalpa trees and eight hundred and eight acres of apple trees and is -one of 
the most profitably productive plantations of the sort in the country. There 
are no fewer than one million catalpas growing on the place and fifty thou- 
sand apple trees, six hundred acres of which latter are now bearing and the 
rest coming into bearing. In the season of IQ15 two hundred and ten thou- 
sand bushels of apples were sold off the Yaggy plantation, the principal 
varieties being the popular Jonathan, the Grimes Golden, Wine Sap, Roman 
Beauty and York Imperi;^ There also is a considerable acreage of cow- 
peas, potatoes, sw^eet pjotatoes and wheat grown on the plantation and in 
se*on three hundred m^^ are employed on the place, while a constant force 
of more than thirty men is required to operate the plantation. About five 

(hundred thousand gallons of spraying material is used annually on the trees 
and the great plantation is operated along the latest approved and most 
[ up-to-date lines. Mr. Yaggy's examples and methods have been followed 

« by others in the neighborhood and the Arkansas river valley, as a result, is 



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90 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

becoming widely renowned as a natural fruit-bearing center. The catalpa 
industry is growing yearly in importance and is now thoroughly established, 
these hardy trees coming more and more into demand, their durable fiber 
giving them a high value for use as fence posts and railroad ties. It has 
been found that it requires ten years to grow the first crop of catalpas, eight 
years the second and seven years the third. Some time before his death L. 
W. Yaggy, in order to simplify the inheritance of his estate, incorporated, 
for two hundred thousand dollars, the Yaggy Plantation Company, in favor 
of his three sons, who now compose the company, its directorate and 
officiary, as follow: President, Edward E. Yaggy; vice-president, A. F. 
Yaggy, of Chicago, and secretary-treasurer, W. E. Yaggy, of Hutchinson. 
The elder Yaggy died at a. sanitarium at Watkins Glen, New York, in Octo- 
ber, 1912. His wife had long preceded him to the grave, her death having 
occurred in Chicago. 

Edward, E. Yaggy received his preparatory schooling in the academy 
and college at Lake Forest, Illinois, and then entered Yale, from which he 
was graduated, after a three-years course, with the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts, in 1899. With a view to broadening his education and in order to 
perfect himself in French and German, Mr. Yaggy then went abroad and 
for eighteen months or more attended lectures in the university at Geneva, 
Switzerland, and in the University of Erlangen, in Bavaria, upon the com- 
pletion of which course he returned to the United States and entered upon 
the duties of manager of his father's estate in this county and has ever since 
then been thus engaged. The Yaggy estate included, besides the great plant 
of the Yaggy Plantation Company in this county, valuable lands in other 
parts of Kansas and in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska and the Yaggy 
brothers are thus very well circumstanced, the head of the company long 
having been regarded as one of the most substantial citizens of this part of 
the state. 

On December 27, 1905, at Kansas City, Missouri, Edward E. Yaggy 
was united in marriage to Laura Reed, who was bom in that city, daughter 
of Homer and Laura (Coates) Reed, the former a native of Michigan and 
the latter of Pennsylvania. Homer Reed was bom at Leslie, Michigan, 
and upon completing his studies in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 
went to Kansas City, where he has lived ever since and where he for many 
years has been prominently identified with the real-estate interests of that 
city. It was not long after locating in Kansas City that Mr. Reed mar- 
ried Laura Coates, who was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, daughter 
of Kersey Coates and wife, who settled in Kansas City when that place was 



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RENO County, Kansas. 91 

a village of seven hundred and fifty population. Kersey Coates was a man 
of large influence in the early, bustling days of Kansas City and it was 
chiefly due to his personal activity in the matter that the future of his home 
town as a railroad center was determined, his influence having been the 
decisive factor in making that city instead of Leavenworth the center of the 
railroad interests of this section in pioneer days. Homer Reed has a beauti- 
ful home in Kansas City, his jJace at Waldo, "Sunny Croft,'* being one of 
the most attractive residences in that city. To him and his wife six chil- 
dren have been born, those besides Mrs. Yaggy being as follow: Kersey, 
who is engaged in the dry-goods business in Chicago; Thomas H., manager 
of the Baker Asphalt Company -s interests at Birmingham, Alabama; Sarah 
E., who married Alfred W. Stone, now assistant treasurer of the Vander- 
bilt lines west of Buffalo, with offices in the Grand Central depot at New 
York; Homer, Jr., engaged in the life-insurance and loan business at Kansas 
City, and Isabel, who is at home with her parents. 

Laura Reed Yaggy is a violinist of much ability, widely known to the 
concert stage, whose performances Thaddeus Rich, in a personal letter to 
Mrs. Yaggy, decides possess "a rare combination' of temperament and 
finish * * * ^ facile technique and a very warm and beautiful tone.*' 
In closing his letter of felicitation, the concert master wrote: "I am sure 
your playing will bring you great success and my heartiest congratulations 
and best wishes accompany you.'' Mrs. Yaggy has appeared with great 
success with such aitists as Johanna Gadski, Paulo Gruppe, Arthur Middle- 
ton, James Whitaker, Barbara Waite, Ida Gardner, Raphael Navas and 
others. She began violin lessons when seven years old and at eleven played 
the "Souvenir de Haydn'' of Leonard in* a public concert. At the age of 
thirteen she played the Mendelssohn Concerto entire with the Kansas City 
SvTnphony. Madame Camilla L^rso, the famous violinist, was present on 
that occasion and was so captivated by the performance that she later sent 
for the young violinist to come and live with her in Minneapolis to continue 
her study. At the age of fourteen Miss Reed played Vieuxtemp's "Fan- 
tasia Appassionata" entire with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra and 
after studying nearly a year with Leopold Lichtenberg, of New York, she 
played, at the age of seventeen, the great Max Bruch G Minor Concerto at 
one of her own concerts. This early career was temporarily interrupted 
by her marriage at the age of eighteen, but after seven years of retirement 
Mrs. Yaggy again felt the lure of the concert stage and made her. appear- 
ance, in April, 191 3, as soloist with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, 
the Kansas City Symphony, and recently with the New York Philharmonic 



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92 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

at the Hutchinson 1916 festival, devoting a part of her time to the concert 
stage. She is the possessor of a rare Sanctus Serafine violin, which sold 
thirty years ago for three thousand dollars and is today worth much more 
than that figure, being considered one of the m(>st valuable instruments in 
the United States. Mrs. Yaggy is the founder of the Apollo Club at 
Hutchinson and was the first president of the same. She is still an active 
member of the club and is now serving as vice-president. She is an ardent 
suffragist and during the memorable campaign of 1912 was president of 
the Reno County Equal Suffrage Association. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Yaggy two children have been born, a son and a 
daughter, Laura Coates and Edward Esher, Jr. Mr. Yaggy is a member 
of the Hutchinson Country Club. During his Yale days he was actively 
affiliated with the Zeta Psi fraternity and still retains a warni interest in the 
doings of that association. He takes a good citizen's interest in local civic 
affairs, ever an ardent champion of good government, but in his political 
views holds himself independent of political parties. 



JOHN A. REED. 



John A. Reed, a well-known and well-to-do pioneer farmer of Valley 
township, this county, an honored veteran of the Civil War; a continuous 
resident of this county since March, 1871 ; first constable of his home town- 
ship and who claims the distinction of being the oldest continuous resident 
of a homestead farm in Reno county, as well as having been the first black- 
smith to locate in this county, is a Hoosier, a fact of which, even though 
loyal Kansan as he is, he has never ceased to be proud. He was born on a 
pioneer farm in Wabash county, Indiana, November 24, 1843, son of 
Matthew and Isal^elle (McCutchen) Reed, both natives •of Pennsylvania, in 
which state they were reared and married. 

Matthew Reed was born on a farm in Pennsylvania in February, 1800. 
There he married Isabelle McCutchen, who was born on November 31, 181 1, 
and in the early thirties immigrated to Indiana, settling in the heavy timber 
lands in Wabash county, that state, where he proceeded to clear his home- 
stead tract and carve out of the wilderness a home for his family, presently 
becoming one of the most substantial residents of that community. Matthew 
Reed was a Whig in his political affiliations and he and his wife were among 
the leaders in the Methodist church in their community. Matthew Reed 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 93 

died on September 29, 1849, ^^^ ^^ter his death his widow and the older 
sons continued to operate the farm until her death on June 15, 1857. There 
were seven children in the family, as follow: Andrew, who died in Colo- 
rado; Samuel and Sarah, twins, the former of whom lives at Riverside, 
Colorado, and the latter, Mrs. Hoffman, lives at Perry, Iowa; Nancy Jane, 
who married Samuel Haggy and lives in Minnesota; Margaret C, widow 
of Jerome Swihart, now living at Joplin, Missouri ; John A., the subject of 
this biographical sketch, and Matthew Barnett, who live3 at Muskogee, 
Oklahoma. 

John A. Reed spent his boyhood on the home farm in the woods in 
Wabash county, Indiana, receiving his elementary education in a little sub- 
scription school conducted in a log house, after the manner made familiar 
in 'The Hoosier Schoolmaster." He was but seven years old when his 
father died and was thirteen when his mother died. He then went to the 
town of North Liberty, near South Bend, where he was able to attend a 
good school for three months in the year. There he was apprenticed to a 
blacksmith and learned the smith's trade, working at the same for more 
than two years. Though but a boy when the Civil War broke out he was 
bent on enlisting at the time of President Lincoln's first call for volunteers, 
but the strong objections of his sisters interposed and his youthful patriot- 
ism was for the moment curbed. Undaunted, however, by the failure of 
his first attempt to enroll himself as a soldier of the Union he went over 
into Illinois, ostensibly on a visit to an uncle at Bement, and there, on July 
3, 1 861, enlisted in Company A, Thirty-fifth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer 
Infantry, with which he served for three years and three months. The first 
engagement the Thirty-fifth Illinois had with the enemy was at Springfield, 
Missouri; thence on to Pea Ridge, Corinth, Perryville and Murfreesboro, 
after which, under General Rosecrans, it was hemmed in at Chickamauga 
for thirty days, subsisting on quarter rations. Sherman and Hooker then 
came up with reinforcements and the Thirty-fifth went on with Sherman 
into Georgia, participating in all the arduous phases of the campaign on to 
Atlanta. Upon the fall of Atlanta, the T>hirty-fifth's three-years period of 
enlistment having expired, the regiment was sent to Springfield, Illinois, 
where it was mustered out on Septeml^er 27, 1864, Mr. Reed then being 
twenty-one years of age. 

Upon the conclusion of his military service J. A. Reed returned to 
Liberty Mills, Indiana, where he remained working at his trade until 1866, 
in which year he went to Iowa, where he joined his brother, 'Andrew, who 
had settled on a homestead farm in Dallas county, that state, some time 



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94 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

before, and there he worked for a year, after which he went to Des Moines, 
where he began working in a blacksmith shop. In 1868 he went to Rock 
Island, Illinois, and after working for awhile in that city came to Kansas 
and was for some time employed at his trade in Atchison, later going to 
Wilson county, in the eastern part of this state, where he opened a black- 
smith shop of his own, which he operated for about three years. Then, 
in March, 1871, he came to this part of the state and filed a pre-emption 
of the northeast quarter of section 26, in what is now Valley township, 
Reno county, but which then was in Sedgwick county. He later changed 
that claim to a timber claim and still lives on half the latter, having sold 
the west half of it years ago. Mr. Reed thus claims the distinction of 
being the oldest settler in Reno county who still resides on the farm on 
which he located. 

After locating his claim John A. Reed went back tothe mouth of Little 
river, where there was a saw-mill and where he worked at his trade for 
two or three weeks, at the end of which time he brought his tools with him 
and returned to his claim, where he threw up a sod shanty and there opened 
a blacksmith shop, the first blacksmith shop established in what is now 
within the confines of Reno county. At that time there were not more 
than half a dozen families living in this county. Across the river there 
were great herds of buffaloes, thousands of them, and the early settlers 
suffered no lack of fresh meat. Mr. Reed ''bached" in his sod shanty 
and found diversion hunting buffalo between jobs in his smithy. The 
pioneers welcomed the coming of the smith and came to him from points 
many miles distant to have their plows sharpened and to secure such repairs 
as were necessary to their meager agricultural implements. In the fall of 
1 87 1 he drove to Newton, then the terminus of the Santa Fe road, and 
hauled back a load of lumber with which he constructed a some\vhat more 
comfortable shack than his sod shanty. In the winter of 1872 he went to 
Hutchinson, nineteen miles distant, the only polling place in the county, t;o 
vote in the first election called in Reno county. In that election C. C. 
Hutchinson was elected representative from this district to the state Legis- 
lature and in the following session of the General Assembly secured the 
enactment of a law defining the boundaries of Reno county, which brought 
Valley township within the confines of this county. Mr. Reed has always 
been a Republican and from the very beginning of a civil community here 
has taken an active part in local politics. At the first election held in 
Valley township he was elected constable and he later was elected to the 
office of township trustee and later, township treasurer, while he nearly 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 95 

always has represented his precinct in county, district or state conventions. 
Mr. Reed set out forty acres of timber on his timber claim, but found 
that the care of this grove in its early stages required too much of his time; 
so in 1873 he homesteaded a tract of one hundred and sixty acres one and 
one-half miles east of his original entry, the same being the northeast 
quarter of section 22, Valley township, and thereon he built a frame house 
and a blacksmith shop. In 1875 he married and sold his blacksmith tools 
to Andy Ballard, who started the first blacksmith shop in the town of 
Burrton, and began to give his undivided attention to farming. In 1877 
he and his wife moved back to his timber claim and there have lived ever 
since. It was with difficulty that Mrs. Reed could become accustomed to 
the frequent presence of Indians about the place and upon the first sign of 
the approach of a party of redskins would run over to stay with the neigh- 
bors until the hunting party would pass on. After selling his tools, Mr. 
Reed found himself "lost'' without the old familiar, implements of liis 
smithy and so bought a new outfit and re-established his smithy, much to 
the gratification of his pioneer neighbors. He presently sold the farm he 
had homesteaded and bought an "eighty'' adjoining his timber claim, which 
he still owns. In 1909 he built his present comfortable dwelling and he 
and his wife are very pleasantly situated. The old house built in 1875 
continues to stand on the home place and is a prized relic of pioneer days. 
On July 17, 1875, John A. Reed was united in marriage to Mary I.' 
Moore, who was born in Greeift county, Tennessee, December 10, 1856, 
daughter of William T. and Rachel (Ellis) Moore, the former a native of 
North Carolina and the latter of Tennessee, who came to Reno county in 
1873. William T. Moore was but a boy when his parents moved from 
North Carolina to Tennessee and in the latter state he grew to manhood 
and married, farming in that state until 1858, in which year he moved with 
his family to Sullivan county, Missouri, where he bought a farm. During 
the Civil War he served the Union cause as a member of the Missouri 
Home Guards, and in 1873 he and his family came to this county, home- 
steading a farm in Valley township. Mr. Moore and his wife later retired 
from the farm and moved to Hutchinson, where he died on November 28, 
1893, ^t the age of fifty-eight, his widow surviving him for about fifteen 
years, her death occurring on February 5, 1908, she then being at the age 
of seventy-two years and eleven months. They were the parents of ten 
children, of whom Mrs. Reed is the eldest. To Mr. and Mrs. Reed no chil- 
dren have been bom, but they adopted a five-months-old baby girl, Annie 
Laurie, whom they reared with as much loving care as they could have 



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96 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

bestowed upon a child of their very own, and who married James Morgan, 
a well-known farmer of Valley township, this county, and has five children, 
Wallace R., Clayton S., Mayme, Mildred L. and Everett C. Mr. Reed is 
a member of the Masonic lodge at Burrton and takes much interest in the 
affairs of that order. 



WILLIAM HIRST. 



William Hirst, a well-know*n and substantial farmer of Lincoln town- 
ship, this county, who has lived here since he was two years old, is a native 
of Wisconsin, having been born at Darlington, that state, December 20, 
1870, the youngest of the eight children of George and Elizabeth (Bril- 
brough) Hirst, natives of England, both of whom were born at Leeds, the 
former in 1824 and the latter in 1826, and both of whom became respected 
residents of this county, where their last days were spent. 

George Hirst was reared in the busy city of Leeds and grew up there 
to the cabinet-making and pattern-making trades, becoming a very competent 
craftsman. A year or t\Vo after their marriage he and his wife and their 
first-born child came to America, in 1854, locating at Darlington, Wisconsin,, 
some kinsfolk of Mr. Hirst having previously located there, and there they 
made their home for nearly twenty years, Mr. Hirst being engaged as a car- 
penter. In the fall of 1872 George Hirst, lA attention having been attracted 
to the possibilities presented in this region, came to Kansas looking for land. 
The lay of the land in Reno county pleased him and he homesteaded a tract 
in section 6, of Lincoln township. He then returned to Wisconsin and the 
next spring brought his family to Reno county and entered upon the occu- 
pation of his homestead, the Hirsts thus having been among the very earliest 
settlers of Lincoln township. George Hirst was an industrious farmer and, 
with the assistance of his sons, developed a fine propert>'', the family coming 
to be regarded as one of the most substantial and influential in that neigh- 
borhood. Mr. Hirst not only was diligent in his own business, but was atten- 
tive to the general needs of the community and served his township very 
acceptably for some time in the capacity of township trustee. He also was 
on his local school board for many years and in other ways did what he 
could to advance the common cause hereabout in pioneer days. His wife 
was a n:iember of the Episcopal church and she also was active in all good 
works, both being held in high esteem throughout that section of the county. 
George Hirst died on his farm on July 18, 1897, and his widow survived him 
for seventeen years, her death occurring at Hutchinson on September 25, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 97 

•1914. They were the parents, of eight children, namely: Anna, who died 

at the age of sixteen; Hannah, now deceased, who married John Eaton, of 

Darlington, Wisconsin, who also is dead; George, a wealthy farmer, who 

died on the old homestead in Lincoln township on October 29, 1915; Mary 

Ann, who died at the age of eighteen; Lila, now deceased, who married G. 

W. Woodard, of Hutchinson; Samuel, who married Myrtle Rogers and 

lives in Hutchinson, where he is a dealer in photographic supplies; Fred, a 

farmer in Center township, this county, and William, the immediate subject 

of this biographical sketch. George Hirst was the first photographer of 

Hutchinson and his daughter learned the trade and succeeded her father 

and Samuel then succeeded his sister and conducted the business, until 1915. 

So the Hirst family has been connected with that business for many years. 

William Hirst was two years of age when his parents came to this 

county from Wisconsin and he grew to manhood on the homestead farm 

in Lincoln township, receiving his education in the school in district No. 41. 

He did not marry until he was thirty years of age and in the meantime 

remained on the home place, which he took charge of, in his mother's behalf, 

after the death of his father, in 1897. In 1912 he bought a quarter of a 

section of his own in Lincoln township and after his mother's death, in 1914, 

moved onto his own place, where he since has made his home and where 

he and his family are very pleasantly and comfortably situated. In addition 

to his land holdings in Lincoln township, Mr. Hirst is also the owner of a 

third interest in a half section of land in Arlington township and the owner 

of a quarter section in Hamilton county, this state, besides which he owns a 

house and lot in Hutchinson, at 410 B avenue, east, and is considered quite 

well-to-do. 

On October 23, 1900, William Hirst was united in marriage to Mar- 
garet Hardcastle, who was born at Hutchinson, this county, daughter of 
Joseph and Minnie Hardcastle, early residents of that city, the latter of 
whom is still living, and to this union one child has been bom, a daughter, 
Margaret Elizabeth, born on September 28, 1903. Joseph Hardcastle for 
years was one of Hutchinson's best-known citizens. He was regarded as 
quite well-to-do until the *'boom*' collapsed after the middle eighties, at 
which time it was found that he had lost practically all his fortune in the 
sudden depreciation of property values which followed that collapse. Mr. 
and Mrs. Hirst are highly respected residents of their neighborhood, taking 
an active part in the common life of that community, and are held in high 
esteem by all thereabout. 
(7a) 



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I 



98 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

JOHN S. SIMMONS. 

John S. Simmons, a well-known lawyer of Hutchinson, former speaker 
of the Kansas House of Representatives and prominently identified with 
banking interests hereabout, is a native son of Kansas, born in Douglas 
county in i860. Upon concluding his studies at Baker University he began 
to read law and was admitted to practice, at the bar of the Crawford circuit 
court, in 1886. He opened an office for the practice of his profession at 
Dighton and quickly took a prominent place in the general affairs of that 
part of the state. For two terms he served as county attorney for Lane 
county; represented that county in the lower house of the Kansas General 
Assembly for two terms and in 1907 was elected speaker of the House. 
From 1899 to 1904 Mr. Simmons served as superintendent of the Kansas 
state reformatory and was a member of the board of management of that 
institution for four years, being appointed by Governor Hoch. In 1895 
he was eleqted president of the State Bank of Dighton, which position he 
ever since has held, and is also a director of several other banks. Follow- 
ing his service as speaker of the House Mr. Simmons became attracted to 
Hutchinson as a desirable place of residence and in June, 1907, moved to 
that city, where he ever since has made his home. He formed a partner- 
ship with Whiteside & Tyler in the practice of the law and upon the disso- 
lution of that firm began to practice alone and so continued until 19 10,. 
in which year he formed a partnership with Ray H. Tinder, which arrange- 
ment continued* for three years. In 1913 Mr. Simmons admitted into part- 
nership his nephew, K. K. Simmons, who was graduated from the law 
school of Kansas University in that year, and this mutually agreeable 
arrangement continues. In addition to his extensive general practice Mr. 
Simmons iias for many years served as attorney for the Santa Fe Railroad 
Company. Since taking up his residence in Hutchinson Mr. Simmons has 
continued his active interest in political affairs and is regarded as one of 
the leaders of the Republican party in this section of the state. In 1914 
he was his party's nominee for Congress from the seventh Kansas district, 
but his candidacy was no more successful than that of the general ticket 
ih^Lt year. 

In 1886 John S. Simmons was united in marriage to Emma Brown, 
ilcuii^hter of Capt. G. W. Brown, of Osage county, this state, and to this 
nniMn four children have l>een born. Mrs. Simmons is a prominent figure 
in Kansas club circles and is past president of the Kansas Day Club. Mr. 
Simmons is one of the directors of the Hutchinson Young Men's Christian 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 99 

Association, a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club and a member 
of the Hutchinson Country Club, in the affairs of all of which organization? 
he takes a warm interest. 



WILLIAM D. SHULER. 



William D. Shuler, one of the oldest and best-known pioneers of this 
county, for years lovingly known throughout the Grant township neighbor- 
hood as "Squire" Shuler, is a native of Virginia, having been born in Page 
county, that state, on June 2^, 1833, son of George and Tabitha (Dovel) 
Shuler, both natives of that same county, the former of whom, born on 
December 25, 1794, died on April 28, 1873, ^"^ the latter, born in 1796, 
died on June 8, 1857. The former was a member of the Meth(>dist church 
and the latter of the Christian church. They were the parents of eight 
children, five sons and three daughters, of whom the subject of this sketch 
is the youngest, and only three survive, the others having been John, Diana 
D., Noah W., Elizabeth Ann Aylshire, who died at the age of twenty-four; 
George W., Andrew Jackson and Sarah Jane, who married John Aylshire, 
her brother-in-law, who was killed in battle during the Civil War, and who 
later married James E. Morris and died in this county in 1895, ^ind he died 
later. 

George Shuler was the son of John Shuler, who was born in Pennsyl- 
vania, son of John Shuler, a German, who came to America and settled in 
Pennsylvania. The younger John Shuler married a Keyser in Pennsyl- 
vania and later moved to Virginia, where he l)ecame a large landowner, and 
where he spent the rest of his life. Grandmother Shuler died in Illinois at 
the age of ninety-five years. She married Mike Step. George Shuler was 
reared on the plantation in Virginia and in turn became a large landowner 
and one of the leading men in his neighborhood. His first wife died in. 
1857 and he married, secondly, a widow, Mrs. Kite, and both spent their 
last days in Virginia. 

William D. Shuler lived on the home place in •Virginia until he was 
grown, acquiring a liberal education meanwhile, and his father gave him 
half the home farm of nearly four hundred acres, on which he liv^d until 
1875, the time of his coming to this county. When Virginia ordered a vote 
on secession in 1861 he was one of twelve voters in his precinct who voted 
for a continuance of the Union. He was drafted into the Second Virginia 
Infantry, under "StonewalF* Jackson, despite his opposition to secession and 

562774 A 

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lOO RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

served for a year before employing a substitute to take his place, during 
which time he participated in the battles at Blue's Gap and near Harper's 
Ferry. Upon leaving the army he returned home and there was seized by 
Union forces. Upon explaining his position toward secession, however, he 
was released and the federal soldiers gave orders that his place should not 
be molested. They had destroyed all other property in the valley. In 1875, 
attracted by the promising word from this section of the country, Mr. Shu- 
ler came to Kansas, locating in Reno county. He bought Lon Mead's relin- 
quishment to eighty acres and the relinquishment of an adjoining, eighty in 
section 28 of John Gaus, in Grant township, and there he established his 
new home. At first he built a small frame house, twelve by sixteen feet, 
and in 1878 built a better house. On his place at that time there were the 
only three trees. One of these trees, a giant cottonwood, five feet in diame- 
ter at the base, stood until 191 5, when it went down during a heavy wind 
storm. Mr. Shuler prospered from the very beginning of his farming 
operations and has assisted in buying farms for ajl of his sons, more than a 
section of land in all. Mr. Shuler quickly took his place as one of the lead- 
ing men in that community. He had served as justice of the peace in his 
Virginia home and presently his pioneer neighbors elected him justice of 
the peace- in Grant township, a position he held for years, and is still known 
as '"Squire" by his many friends thereabout and throughout the county. He* 
was also trustee for a number of years. He is a Democrat, though quite 
liberal in his political views, and has also voted the Prohibition ticket, He 
is an ardent Methodist and the year after his arrival in this county went 
around the neighborhood stirring up sentiment in behalf of the establish- 
ment of a Sunday school in Grant township and succeeded in having such 
an institution started in the school house near his home. He later headed a 
subscription paper with a liberal subscription and* took it around among his 
neighbors and thus secured the establishment of the Mitchell Methodist 
church in his home township, of which he has been one of the leading mem- 
bers for many years. 

On August 9. 1855, in Page county, Virginia, William D. Shuler was 
united in marriage to Sarah Ann Koontz, who was born in that county, 
August 28, 1839, daughter of David and Elizabeth Koontz, natives of Vir- 
ginia, and to this union five children were born, namely: Preston P., a 
cement manufacturer and farmer, of Wakeeney, this state; Jacob O., of 
whom further mention is made later on in this review; Lee, a fruit raiser 
at Hotchkiss, Colorado; Martin B., who is now living retired at Santa Rosa, 
California, and Walter, who is engaged in the dairy business in Reno town- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. , lOI 

ship, this county. The mother of these children died on October 19, 1896, 
and for the past few years Mr. Shuler has been making his home with his 
sons. 

Jacob O. Shuler, who was born in Page county, Virginia, on February 
4, 1859, was sixteen years of age when his father, William D. Shuler, came 
to this county with his father, and he grew to manhood on the old Shuler 
farm in Grant township. Following his marriage, in the fall of 1884, he 
bought the"" northeast quarter of section 27, in Grant township, and there 
established his home and has lived there ever since. He later bought a half 
section in Reno township and also a quarter section. He is a Democrat and 
has taken an active interest in local political affairs and is now treasurer of 
his home township. He and his family are members of the Methodist 
church and he gave the land on which the Mitchell Methodist church was 
built, on one corner of his farm. He is a member of the Court of Honor 
and takes a warm interest in the affairs of this society. Mr. Shuler is an 
extensive farmer and has given much attention also to raising cattle and 
hogs. 

On November 6, 1884, Jacob O. Shuler was united in marriage to 
Annie Cook, who was born in Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Joseph 
and Martha (Barnes) Cook. Mrs. Shuler came to this county in June, 
1883, in company with her sister, Mrs. Laura Baddeley, and her two 
brothers, Fred Cook, the present mayor of Hutchinson, and Walter Cook, 
also of Hutchinson. To Mr. and Mrs. Shuler four children have been born, 
as follow: William Archie, born on October 13, 1885, ^^ home; Harold, 
August 17, 1887, who married Myrtle Oldsworth and lives on a farm in 
Reno townsfiip; Gilbert A., December 17, 1893, and Annie Gertrude, Octo- 
ber 6, 1895, married Arthur W. Lancaster and lives in Reno township. 



THOMAS G. AR]\IOUR. 



Thomas G. Armour, one of the publishers of The Wholesaler, pub- 
lished at Hutchinson, this county, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on 
December* 6. 1872, son of Thomas D. and Eliza (Sloan) Armour, the 
former of whom was born in Randolph county, Illinois, in 1830, and the 
latter in Belfast, Ireland, in September, 1837. Thomas D. Armour was a 
son of James C. Armour, a native of Scotland and an early settler in Ran- 
dolph county, Illinois. Eliza Sloan was a daughter of Robert and Belle 



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I02 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Sloan, both of whom were bom in County Antrim, Ireland, where their last 
days were spent. In 1848 the three Sloan children, Robert, Jr., aged six- 
teen; Belle, aged fourteen, and Eliza, aged eleven, came to America and 
made their way to St. Louis, where they were received by friends of the 
family, and where Robert, now deceased, went to work for the Whittier 
Packing Company, he having learned something of the packing business in 
Belfast, where his father was engaged as a meat packer. Aunt Belle Sloan, 
who never married, also is now deceased, the only one of that family now 
surviving being Eliza, who is living at Wichita. 

Thomas D. Armour was reared on a farm in Illinois. As a young man 
he went to St. Louis, where he erfgaged in the transfer business and where 
he lived until 1890, in which year he moved to Wichita, this state, becoming 
a considerable landowner, and there he died in August, 1906. For some 
time before moving to Wichita, Thomas D. Armour had been engaged in 
the development of coal lands in southern Illinois. He and his wife w^ere 
the parents of three children, Robert, a farmer, living in South Dakota; 
Thomas G., the subject of this biographical sketch, and Belle, who lives 
with her mother at Wichita, this state. 

Thomas G. Armour was reared in St. Louis, in the public schools of 
which city he received his education. As a boy he learned the printer's 
trade in St. Louis and in 1890 went to Sterling, this state, where for three 
years he was engaged in the printing business with J. .E. Junkin. In 1893 
he moved to Hutchinson, where he became employed in the job department 
of the Hutchinson News, and has ever since made that city his home. Mr. 
Armour continued on the staff of the Ne^cs until 1905, and in 1906 he and 
A. L. Sponsler began the publication of the Times. The next year, in 1907, 
they also began the publication of The IVhoIesaler, and in 1910 they 
merged the Times with The Wholesaler and discontinued the publication of 
the former paper. The Wholesaler still being continued and is quite suc- 
cessful, Mr. Armour being the active manager of the same. Shortly after 
the Times was started, Messrs. Armour and Sponsler erected a tw^o-story 
office building at 100-102 South Main street. Mr. Armour takes consid- 
erable interest in other enterprises of one kind and another in Hutchinson 
and is one of the incori)orators of the Central State Bank, incorporated in 

1915- 

On April 8, 1901, Thomas G. Armour was united in marriage to 
Fannie M. Graves, who was born in Troy township, this county, daughter 
of William and Hannah (Yardy) Graves, who was accounted among the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. IO3 

earliest settlers of Reno county and both of whom are still living, comfort- 
ably and pleasantly retired at their home in South Reno. ^ 

William Graves was bom in Cambridgeshire, England, on February 2, 
1836, -son of James and Mary (Coxell) Graves, farming people, the former 
of whom was a Baptist and the latter of whom held to the views of the 
established church. They were the parents of six children, two sons and 
four daughters. Both of the sons, John and William, and two of the 
daughters, Sarah and Betsey, came to America, William being but seven- 
teen years of age at the time he arrived on the shores of the New World. 
John Graves is still living, a prosperous retired farmer in Benton county, 
Indiana; Sarah, who married William Burton, lives in Nebraska, and Mrs. 
Betsey Clinton died in Michigan. The father of these children came to 
America when seventy-five years of age to spend his last days with his 
children and died in Benton county, Indiana, at the age of ninety-seven. 

Upon reaching the United States, William Graves located in Niagara 
county. New York, where he worked on a farm and on the Erie canal for 
three years. In 1856, the year following his marriage in Niagara county, 
he bought a farm of eighty acres in Benton county, Indiana, to which he 
later added until, in February, 1876, at which time he moved with his 
family to Troy township, this county, he having two years before bought 
three hundred and twenty acres of railroad land in that township, and there 
he lived until January, iqgS, when he and his wife retired from the farm 
and moved to South Hutchinson, where they now live, being very comfort- 
ably situated there. William Graves, during the active days of his farming 
operations, was one of the most extensive cattlemen in Reno county, his 
farm, which he had enlarged by the purchase of additional tracts until it 
comprised four hundred and eighty acfes, having mainly been given, over 
to the raising of purebred Durham cattle. He is an ardent Republican and 
during his residence in Troy township served on the school board. 

On June 26, 1855, in Niagara county, New York, William Graves was 
united in marriage to Hannah Yardy, who was born June 21, 1836, in the 
town of March, Cambridgeshire, England, daughter of William and Anne 
Yardy, both natives of the same section of England, the former of whom 
was foreman of a large estate. Hannah Yardy was bereft of her father by 
death when she was little more than a year old and her mother died when 
she was fifteen years of age. In 1854 she came, with her sister, Anne, and 
the latter's husband, William Clark, to America, settling, with them, in 
Niagara county, New York, where she was married in the following year. 
To William and Hannah Graves eleven children were born, namely : James, 



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I04 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

who lives on a fami in Reno township, this county; William, who lives in 
Benton county, Indiana; Mary, who died in infancy; John R., a bridge car- 
penter, who lives at Fruita, Colorado; Sarah, who married John Tharp 
and lives in Hutchinson, this county; Henry A., who lives on one of the old 
home farms in Troy township; Lily, who married James Dawson and lives 
on a farm in Troy township; Fannie M., who married Mr. Armour; Rose, 
who lives in Hutchinson, widow of William Lewis, and Frankie, who died 
in infancy. 

To Thomas G. and Fannie M. (Graves) Armour two children have 
been born, Phylis, bom in 1902, and Thomas G., Jr., August 22, 1914. 
Mr. and Mrs. Armour have a very pleasant home at 812 North Walnut 
street built in 1902, and are held in high esteem by their many friends in 
and about Hutchinson. Mr. Armour is a member of the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen and of the Knights of Pythias and take a warm interest 
in the affairs of both of these orders. 



LEVI P. HADLEY. 



Levi P. Hadley, a well-known pioneer of Reno county and honored 
veteran of the Civil War, who is now living comfortably retired from the 
more active duties of life on his fine farm in Reno township, where he has 
made his home since 1874, is a Hoosier, a member of the famous Hadley 
family, well known throughout central Indiana, which has numbered among 
its members a judge of the supreme court of Indiana, a treasurer of state 
and others distinguished in the civic and social life of the old Hoosier state. 
He was born in Hendricks county, Indiana, not far southwest of the state 
capital, on February 25, 1840, son of Joab and Mary (Pickett) Hadley, both 
natives of North Carolina, of Quaker parentage, whose respective parents 
had settled in the Plainfield neighborhood of Hendricks county at an early 
day in the settlement of that sterling old Quaker community. 

Joab Hadley was one of the leaders in the Quaker community and was 
the owner of a farm of two hundred acres in Hendricks county. He mar- 
ried Mary Pickett and to this union five children were born, namely : Calvin, 
who died in Douglas county, Kansas; Atlas, who is still living in Hendricks 
county, Indiana; Melissa, who married Wesley Kellum and died in Indiana 
in 1913; Levi P., the immediate subject of this biographical sketch, and 
Hannah, who married Xoah Kellum and died in July, 1915, in Hendricks 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. IO5 

county, Indiana. Joab Hadley died in 1842 and his widow married, secondly, 
Jacob Chandler, a prominent member of the Quaker community there, a 
farmer of means, and to this union three sons were bom, John, who lives 
in Hendricks county, Indiana; Hadley, who died in 1900, and William, who 
is living at Plainfield, Indiana. Jacob Chandler died on his home farm in 
Indiana at the age of eighty years and his widow died in 1900, at the age of 
eighty-four. 

Levi P. Hadley was reared on the farm in Hendricks county, Indiana, 
receiving his elementary education in the district schools of Guilford town- 
ship, that county, which he supplemented by a short course in Earlham Col- 
lege, at Richmond, that state. On July 28, 1861, he enlisted for service in 
behalf of the Union in Company E, Twenty-sixth Regiment, Indiana Vol- 
lunteer Infantry, and served for three years and fifty-five days. During 
this service he participated for four weeks in the siege of Vicksburg and 
took part in the memorable Yazoo River expedition. During the battle 
of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, he was' severely wounded in the knee. Upon 
the conclusion of his military service, Mr. Hadley returned to his home in 
Indiana and on September 12, 1865, was united in marriage to Mary Jane 
Jessup, who was born and reared in. Hendricks county, that state, and who 
was generally and lovingly referred to throughout that community as "the 
best and brightest girl in the township." Mr. Hadley had inherited a tract 
of sixty-four acres, his portion of his deceased father's estate, and on that 
small farm he and his wife and their growing little family made their home 
until 1874, in the fall of which year they came to Kansas, settling on a 
tract of railroad land in Reno township, this county, where they established 
their permanent home and where Mr. Hadley is still'living. 

Mr. Hadley had made a trip to this county in August, 1874, and, 
despite the horrid scourge of grasshoppers which the pioneers had endured 
that summer, was so deeply impressed by the possibilities presented here- 
about as a choice agricultural region that he bought the north half of section 
3. township 26, range 6 west, in Reno township, and immediately made 
arrangements for the removal of his family to this county, and they arrived 
here on November 18, following. Mr. and Mrs. Hadley at once took a lead- 
ing* part in the development of a higher social order in this county and from 
the very day of their arrival here their influence ever""was exerted in behalf 
of better things. Mr. Hadley was a vigor,ous and progressive farmer and 
prosfjered in his agricultural operations, soon becoming recognized as one 
of the county's most substantial citizens. 

In the absence of an organization of a Society of Friends hereabout. 



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106 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

• 

Mr. and Mrs. Hadley identified themselves with the Methodist communion 
and immediately became leaders in the same. Mrs. Hadley's native ability 
and strong and admirable force of character quickly brought her to the 
front in all woman's movements here and she was particularly active in the 
ranks of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, by both voice and pen, 
even from the very first days of the prohibition agitation in this state, labor- 
ing in that behalf and will ever be remembered as one of the faithful leaders 
in the movement which eventually gave to Kansas its state-wide prohibitory 
law with relation to the liquor traffic She was superintendent of the evan- 
gelistic department of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and when 
the issue of "wet" and "dry" came up in Reno county she swung the tide of 
battle in the balloting from what had seemed an inevitable "wet" victory to 
a victory for the "drys." It was generally conceded by all that the colored 
vote, which then held practically the balance of power, would be cast in 
favor of the "wets." But nothing daunted by this seeming preponderance 
against the cause she so ardently was advocating, Mrs. Hadley went right 
among the colored voters and so strongly influenced them in behalf of the 
prohibition cause that the county turned a sufficient majority in favor of the 
"drys," the old politicians ungrudgingly giving her full credit for having 
altered the whole course of a campaign which they had regarded as closed 
when their "straw" ^'otes had revealed an apparently overwhelmingly pre- 
ponderance of "wet" sentiment. Mrs. Hadley was working in behalf of the 
Evangelistic Union, which organization made her superintendent of the work 
among the colored people. Mr. Hadley also was a strong supporter of the 
prohibition cause and was one of the most vigorous and effective champions 
of the "drys." 

In 1889 Mr. and Mrs. Hadley recognized the need of a church in the 
then rapidly developing manufacturing section of the city of Hutchinson, 
it being apparent to them that the people living in that section were not 
properly favored in the matter of a church or other proper social center. 
Mr. Hadley shouldered the responsibility for the undertaking, signing the 
notes for the erection of the church building on Avenue F, and for several 
years, until the new congregation had proved itself self-supporting, practi- 
cally carried the church along, guaranteeing the minister's salary and seeing 
to the upkeep of the church. The grateful people who came to form the 
congregation of the church in Avenue F displayed their appreciation of Mr. 
Hadley 's efforts and the church to this day is known as the Hadley Meth- 
odist church, a very proper memorial to the unselfish labors of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hadley in its behalf. Mrs. Hadley died on February 22, 1903, and there 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. IO7 

was wide mourning throughout the county at the news of her passing, for 
she was a woman who had done well her part in the social development of 
this county. To Mr. and Mrs. Hadley three children were born, Herbert, 
who is managing his father's extensive farm in Reno township and in 
whose household his venerable father is making his home, married Rosa 
Burch and has four children, Eldon, Mary, John and Rose Elizabeth ; Wilma, 
who died May 8, 19 12, married George B. Manning and lived in the city of 
Hutchinson and had six children, Marian, Winifred, Jane, Florence, Marie 
and Esable; Alta G. married William Newling, proprietor of a dairy farm in 
Reno township, and has two children, George and Nina. 



JOHN WESLEY GLASS. 

John Wesley Glass, a well-known and prosperous farmer of Lincoln 
township, this county, now practically retired from the active labors of the 
farm, is a native of the great Keystone state, having been bom in Franklin 
county, Pennsylvania, April 17, 1853, son of Jacob and Sarah Ann (Guth- 
rie) Glass, both natives of that same county and who spent their lives there; 

Jacob Glass was a son of George and Hannah Glass, natives of Ger- 
many, who came with their respective parents to America in their child- 
hood, both families settling in Franklin county. George Glass was a soldier 
in the patriot army during the Revolutionary War, and John W. Glass has 
the watch which his grandfather bought in Baltimore the day he was mus- 
tered out of the service at the close of the war in 1783. George Glass was 
a carj)enter, and both he and his wife had been reared in the Mennonite 
faith, though in later life they were earnest adherents of the Methodist 
church. He lived to the great age of one hundred and six years, and his 
wife lived to be ninety-six. Jacob Glass learned the mason's trade in his 
youth and became a very competent craftsman, in after years becoming a 
very successful contractor in that line. He married Sarah Ann Guthrie, a 
neighbor girl, who was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, daughter of 
James P. and Isabelle Catherine (Wagonseller) Guthrie, natives of England, 
who came to America, settling in Chester county, Pennsylvania, later mov- 
ing to Franklin ^county, same state, and both of whom died in Chaml^ersburg. 

When the Civil War broke out Jacob Glass enlisted in Company A, 
One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer In fan-* 
try, attached to Hancock's Brigade, with which he served for nine months. 



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I08 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

at the end of which time he enlisted with a veteran regiment, with which he 
served to the end of the war. his regiment having been engaged in such 
noted battles as those of Antietam, Gettysburg and Chancellorsyille. During 
the time of the rebel invasion of Pennsylvania the city of Chambersburg 
was burned by the invaders and after the war Jacob Glass filled large con- 
tracts for mason work in connection with the rebuilding of the city, having 
twenty-five or thirty men working under him for years. The battle of 
Gettysburg was fought within twelve miles of the Glass home and the roar 
of the battle shook the windows of the house. John W. Glass then was 
but ten years- old, but he was taking an active part on the outskirts of the 
desperate struggle between the two mighty armies and succeeded in cap- 
turing a gun from a straggling rebel soldier who was on the way to the 
battle and he still has that gun, in proof of his claim that although only ten 
years old at the time he silenced one rebel gun at Gettysburg. After the 
battle the lad carried water to the wounded on the battlefield, vivid memor- 
ies of that great battle still being retained by Mr. Glass. 

In 1859 Jacob Glass had bought a farm at the edge of the town of 
Scotland, in Franklin county, and moved his family onto that place, which 
was the family home for years. In their declining years, Jacob Glass and 
wife moved to Green village, that same county, and there spent their last 
days, the former dying in October, ,1896, at the age of seventy-eight, and 
the latter in 1903, at the age of eighty-six. Both were life-long members 
of the Methodist church, in which faith their children were reared, and 
Jacob Glass had been for many years both a trustee and a steward of the 
church. He was a Republican and had served very efficiently as sheriff of 
Franklin county. He and his wife were the parents of nine children, as 
follow: James A., who was shot and killed by a rebel spy at his home; 
Isabelle Catherine, who married John J. Allen, both now dead; George A., 
a bachelor, who died at Hagerstown, Maryland, at the age of sixty-two; 
Jacob W., a Maryland merchant, now deceased; John W., the immediate 
subject of this biographical sketch; Hannah Jane, who died in infancy; 
Sarah Elizabeth, who died at the age of fifteen years: Charles S., a mer- 
chant, wiio died at Greencastle, Pennsylvania, in October, 1915, and Will- 
iam E., a merchant of Scotland, Pennsylvania. 

John W. Glass received his early education in the school in the neigh- 
borhood of his home and all his life has added to that by wide reading and 
close observation until he is regarded as a very well-informed man. He 
has traveled quite extensively and has had a varied experience. He claims 
the distinction of being the only man in Reno county who has met every 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. IO9 

President of the United States from Lincoln to Wilson and has shaken 
hands with all save Mr. Taft, the latter of whom was nursing a badly 
bruised hand, the result of too much handshaking during a previous recep- 
tion, at the time he had the honor of meeting him. At the age of twenty 
years, Mr. Glass left home and started firing a locomotive on the Pennsyl- 
vania railroad between Harrisburg and Altoona. After about eighteen 
months thus engaged he was caught in a nasty wreck and decided that the 
life of a railroader was not the life for him. After reaching that conclu- 
sion, Mr. Glass pursued the less hazardous life of a farmer for thirteen 
months, working as a farm hand on farms in Mahoning and Stark counties, 
Ohio, and in March, 1875, went to Richwood, in Union county, same state, 
and Y^orked on a farm in that neighborhood until the following October, at 
which time he rented a farm near Prospect, Marion county. In 1877 he 
married the niece of the man who owned the farm and continued to make 
his home on that place until 1881, in which year he moved to Prospect, 
where he was engaged in the mercantile business until January i, 1886. 
tie then sold his store and came to Kansas, settling in Meade county, where 
he pre-empted a quarter of a section of land, which he "proved up'' and 
sold, and in the fall of 1887 moved to the town of Meade, where he opened 
a general store, which he conducted until March i, 1890, on which date he 
sold out and came to this county, locating at Hutchinson, where he bought 
the Daniel Sickling meat market, at 10 South Main street, which he sold in 
the spring of 1891 and began v)orking in the Hutchinson packing house, 
soon being promoted to the position of foreman in the same, and was thus 
engaged until 1894, in which year he engaged in the feed business at 4 
South Main street, in the same city. In October, of that same year, he sold 
his feed store and rented the E. L. Myers farm in Reno township, where 
he made his home for five years, at the end of which time, in the spring of 
1905, he moved to a farm in Lincoln township that he had bought the 
previous fall, the same being one-quarter of section 18, in that township, 
and there he has made his home ever since, being very well established and 
quite comfortably situated. Upon taking possession he built a good farm 
house on his place and in 1910 built a fine, modern, concrete barn, which he 
declares is as thoroughly finished and as well equipped as any barn in the 
county. Upon engaging seriously in the agricultural business, Mr. Glass 
went into the registered Shorthorn cattle business, also raising and market- 
ing some mules, and has made money out of his iive-stock undertakings, 
besides being very successful in his general farming operations, being now 
regarded as one of the substantial farmers in his part of the county. In 



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no RENO COUNTV^, KANSAS. 

April, 191 5, Mr. Glass was struck by an automobile and severely injured, 
the result of his injuries having left him so painfully crippled that he now 
is practically retired from the active labors of his farm, though still pos- 
sessed of his old ability as a manager and director of affairs thereon. 

On December 9, 1877, J<^hn W. Glass was united in marriage to Emma 
A. Freeman, who was lx)rn in Marion county, Ohio, daughter of Alvin A. 
and Louisa (Rush) Freeman, the former of whom was born in Marion 
county, Ohio, and the latter on the Atlantic ocean while her parents were 
coming to this country, and to this union the following children have been 
born, namely: Charles Orlando, born on April 27, 1881, who married 
Gertrude Minner, and is now a successful building contractor at Tampa, 
Florida; Lulu, August 23, 1883, who married C. E. V. Coleman and lives 
in Reno township, this county; Welcome E., April i, 1886. who married 
Marjorie Graves and lives in Reno township; Hazel, July 29, 1888, who 
married A. G. Siegrist and lives in Reno township; Jacob Winfield, Decem- 
ber 8, 1890, a teacher in the Reno county schools, who makes his home with 
his parents, and Mabel Juanita, May 13, 1893, «^lso a school teacher, who 
lives at home. Mr. and Mrs. Glass are earnest inembers of the Methodist 
church and their children have been reared in that faith. Mr. Glass has been 
a class leader in the Methodist church continuously since 1875 ^^^ upon 
moving to Reno township, in 1900, assisted in a Sunday school which ha<l 
been organized in the Poplar school house. ' Out of that well-directed move- 
ment grew the organization of the Poplar 'Methodist Episcopal church, and 
for eight years after the church w^as built he served very earnestly and very 
efficiently as president of the board of trustees of the church. Mr. and Mrs. 
Glass for years have been regarded as among the leaders in the community 
life of their neighborhood and they and their family are held in high esteem 
throughout that entire section of the county. Mr. Glass is a Republican 
and ever has given a good citizen's attention to the political affairs of the 
county, though never having been included in the office-seeking^ class. 



HECTOR KENNETH McLEOD. 

Though a comparatively newcomer in Reno county, H. K. McLeod, 
president of the Reno State Bank at Hutchinson, has firmly established him- 
self in the regard of those connected with the commerccial and financial 
circles of this county and is being generally recognized as one of the leading 
financiers of this section of the state. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. Ill 

Hector Kenneth McLeod was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada, 
on September 25, 1868, son of Donald and Anne (McKenzie) McLeod, both 
natives of that same place, the former born on January 20, 1826, and the 
latter October 10, 1836, and both are still living. Donald McLeod is the 
son of Angus McLeod, and Anne (McKenzie) McLeod is the daughter of 
Hector Kenneth McKenzie, both born and reared near Belfast, Ireland, of 
Scotch Highlander descent and both of whom were elders in the Presbyter- 
ian church for more than fifty years. In 1804 Angus McLeod and Hector 
Kenneth McKenzie emigrated, with their respective families, to Prince Ed- 
ward Island, landing from the good ship "Polly," that having been about 
the time the French were driven out of Arcadia, an event made famous by 
Longfellow's "Evangeline.'' and there both the McLeods and the McKenzies 
became farming people. 

Donald McLeod was reared on the paternal farm in Prince Edward 
Island and upon reaching manhood engaged in the mercantile business at 
Eldon, in his native island, and he and his wife still live there, though he 
has been retired from business for the past thirty years. He has been an 
elder in the Presbyterian church for the past forty-five years and is regarded 
as one of the leaders in his community. He and his wife have a very pleas- 
ant home and one hundred acres of land. To them four children were 
bom, namely : Rev. M. J. McLeod, pastor of St. Nicholas German Re- 
formed church in New York City, established in 1728, the oldest church in 
that city, and attended by the old Dutch families of Gotham's "400;" 
Davina, who married Dr. Harry D. Johnson and lives at Charlottetown ; 
Hector Kenneth, the immediate subject of this biographical sketch, and Ada 
Belle, who married Arthur G. Putnam, manager of the Royal Bank at Van- 
couver, British Columbia. 

Hector Kenneth McLeod, in the days of his youth, spent his. school 
vacations in the store of his father, acquiring an excellent commercial edu- 
cation. The schooling he received in the public schools of his home town 
was supplemented by a course at Prince of Wales College, from which he 
was graduated in 1890, after which he became connected with the legal 
department of the Phoenix Insurance Company, of Brooklyn, New York, 
and was stationed in the company's offices at Chicago, where he remained 
until 1899. In the meantime he had been sedulously pursuing his legal 
studies, and in 1898 he was graduated from the Chicago College of Law. 
In 1899 he came to Kansas, locating at Ellis, where he organized the Ellis 
State Bank and was at the head of the same, acting as cashier for thirteen 
years, at the end of which time, in 19 13, he bought an interest in the Reno 



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112 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

State Bank, of Hutchinson, this county, and was made vice-president of the 
same. He then moved to Hutchinson and on January i, 1915, was elected 
president of the bank. Upon leaving Ellis, Mr. McLeod did not sever his 
connection with the Ellis State Bank, and is now vice-president of that 
institution. 

On June 26, 1901, Hector Kenneth McLeod was united in marriage to 
Helen E. Burbank, who was born in Montreal, Canada, daughter of Robert 
and Emily Burbank, who came to Kansas in 1890, settling at Ellis, where 
Robert Burbank, who is now deceased, was for some years engaged in 
mercantile business, and where his widow is still living. To Mr. and Mrs. 
McLeod two children have been bom, Donald Angus, bom on September 
3, 1903, and Hector Kenneth, Jr., May 10, 1907. 



SAMUEL D. GASTON. 



To the late Samuel D. Gaston, for many years a prominent farmer 
and cattleman of this county, belonged the honor of having been the first 
homesteader south of the Arkansas river in Reno county. When he filed 
his claim there the stakes marking the site of the city of Hutchinson had 
not yet been driven and the county had not yet been organized. He took a 
leading part in the development of social and economic conditions in his 
neighborhood and was a substantial and useful citizen, whose memory ever 
will be cherished thereabout. 

Samuel D. Gaston was born in the county of Wheeling, Virginia (now 
West Virginia), April 24, 1827, son of John and Mary (Farris) Gaston, 
it that the ancestor of the Gaston family in America was a younger brother 
of a king pf France, and held a stronghold in northern France. The king 
both natives of that state, members of old colonial families. Tradition has 
sent a strong force against him, but he and his followers defeated the king's 
forces, routing them utterly. Gaston knew, however, that his victory was 
only temporary; that he could not long hold out against the resources of 
France, and believing that discretion was the better part of valor, crossed 
the channel and found refuge in Ireland, becoming there the founder of a 
numerous family, a descendant of one branch of which emigrated to *\meri- 
ca in an early day in the settlement of the colonies and became the founder 
of the family in this country. John Gaston was reared a farmer in Virginia 
and there married Mary Farris, some years later, when his son, Samuel D. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. II3 

was a child, locating in Delaware county, Ohio, where he and his wife spent 
the remainder of their lives. They were earnest members of the Presby- 
terian church and their children were reared in that faith. 

Sarhuel D. Gaston was reared on a farm in Delaware county, Ohio, and 
was married in that neighborhood. Shortly thereafter^he moved to Illinois, 
his elder brother having previously established a large stock farm in McLean 
county, that state, and after a sometime residence in that county moved over 
into Logan county, same state, where he bought a farm, where he remained 
imtil he and his family came to Kansas in the spring of 1871. Upon arriv- 
in this state the Gastons settled at Paoli, in Miami county, where they spent 
the season. In August, of that year, Samuel D. Gaston came over into the 
section now comprised in Reno county, hunting buffaloes. He was so well 
pleased with the appearance of the land hereabout that he filed a homestead 
claim on the southwest quarter of sction 4, township 24, range 5 west, 
which, when the county was later organized, lay in Lincoln township, and 
in 1914, upon the organization of Yoder township, became a part of the 
latter township. Samuel D. Gaston's claim was the first filed on land south 
of the river in Reno county. At that time there was not even a shack on 
the site of the present flourishing city of Hutchinson and the county had 
not been organized. Upon filing his claim, Mr. Gaston built a sod shanty 
on his tract and then returned to Paoli, where he wintered with his family. 
In the following February he and his eldest son, S. Clinton Gaston, started 
for Reno county, and on March 2, 1872, reached their homestead. Mr. 
Gaston found that a party of Texas cowboys who had been herding cattle in 
that locality had taken possession of his sod shanty, but there was no diffi- 
culty in establishing his rights and he set about preparing the place for the 
reception of his family, his wife and the other children joining him and his 
eldest son in the little sod shanty on the plain in May. There Samuel D. 
Gaston established his homf , later erecting a more suitable residence, which, 
in 1893, he supplanted by the fine, large house which now marks the home- 
stead, and there he spent the rest of his life, becoming a prosperous farmer 
and cattleman. He started his herd in 1874 and for years was actively 
engaged in cattle raising, in which he did well, at the time of his death, in 
June, 1904, being regarded as one of the most substantial citizens pi that 
part of the county. 

In 1854 Samuel D. Gaston was united in marriage in Ohio to Hester 
A. White, who was born in Morrow county, that state, daughter of Tim- 
othy and Sarah White, natives of Ohio, the former of whom was a well- 
(8a) 



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114 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

known practicing physician in that section, who later moved from Ohio to 
Missouri, thence to Illinois and thence to Paoli, Kansas, where Mrs. White 
died. Doctor White's last days being spent at the home of his daughter, 
Mrs. Gaston, in this county. To Samuel D. and Hester A. (White) Gaston 
seven children were born, as follow: Samuel Clinton, who is managing 
the old home farm in Yoder township; Ida, now deceased, who married 
David Taylor, of Hutchinson, this county; William E., who is engaged in 
the life insurance business at Wichita, this state; Alice, who married Harry 
Wainer, a well-known farmer of Lincoln township, this county; John Wal- 
ter, an extensive wheat farmer, of Pawnee county, this state; Grace, who 
married A. H. McHarg, a Lincoln township farmer, and Lee, unmarried, 
who lives with his^eldest brother on the old home farm. Mrs. Hester A. 
Gaston, widow of Samuel D. Gaston, died on October 17, 191 5. 

Samuel Clinton Gaston, eldest son of Samuel D. and Hester A. (White) 
Gaston, was bom in Dalaware county, Ohio, in 1855, and received his early 
education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home there. He 
was fifteen years old when he came to this county with his father, and thus 
may be regarded as one of the very earliest settlers of Reno county. He 
went through all the hardships of pioneer life hereabout and has witnessed 
the complete development of this region from its primitive state to its 
present high state of cultivation. ' He has a distinct recollection of the days 
when the Santa Fe construction crew was driving the grade stakes along 
the line of the road where the populous city of Hutchinson is now situated, 
but on which there was then not a sign of the coming city, and also recalls 
having seen C. C. Hutchinson, founder of the city of Hutchinson, at Har- 
ner's shack on the north side of the river, before Hutchinson had decided 
where to set the stakes for the city he even then had in his mind's eye. The 
elder Gaston was much troubled with rheumatism and even from the days 
of his young manhood, S. C. Gaston took a lead in the work of developing 
. the homestead. In 1902 he opened a general store in the new town of 
Yoder and was appointed first postmaster of that village, but the next year 
returned to the farm where he ever since has continued to reside. He is 
unmarried and he and his youngest brother, Lee, quite successfully "bach 
it" together in the old home. For several years they were engaged in the 
wholesale dairy business, with a fine herd of Jerseys. S. C. Gaston is an 
active and influential Republican and was elected first trustee of Yoder 
township upon the creation of that civic unit in 1914. He takes an earnest 
interest in general public aflfairs and is looked upon as a substantial and 
progressive citizen. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. II5 

DAVID E. RICHHART. 

David E. Richhart, a well-known nad well-to-do farmer of this county, 
now^ living at Nickerson, is a native of Illinois, having b^n born on a farm 
near Jacksonville, ^hat state, November 2, 1855, son of Henry and Betty 
(Taylor) Richhart, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of England, 
who became pioneer residents of this county, where their last days were 
spent. 

Henry Richhart, an honored veteran of the Civil War, was born near 
Chillicothe, in Ross county, Ohio, September 2^, 1829, son of Henry and 
Susanna Richhart, natives of Pennsylvania, and farming people, who moved 
to Ohio in early days and spent the rest of their lives in the Chillicothe 
neighborhood. They were members of the Methodist church and substan- 
tial people in that community. The younger Henry Richhart was reared 
in Ohio and when a young man moved to Illinois, where he became a 
farmer. On February 10, 1852, he married, at Aaronsville, that state, 
Betty Taylor, who was born in England on May 9, 1834, and who was 
seven years old when her parents, Ernest and Alice Taylor, came to this 
country from England, landing at New Orleans in 1841 and making their 
way up the river to Illinois, where they entered a homestead of eighty acres 
and spent the rest of their lives there. In August, 1861, Henry Richhart 
enlisted for service in the Civil War in the Twenty-first Regiment, Missouri 
Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for three years and seven months. 
He was in the battles of Bull Run, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Charleston and 
a number of other important engagements, besides marching with Sherman 
to the sea and from the effects of powder burns lost his sight. In 1873 
he and his family came from Illinois to Kansas and he homesteaded a tract 
df land on the border between Reno and Rice counties, part of the land 
lying in each county, and there he established his home, remaining there 
until 1880, in which year he and his wife retired from the farm and moved 
to Xickerson, where their last days were spent, her death occurring on May 
14, 1903, and his on May 9, 1906. Both were earnest members of the 
Methodist church and were among the organizers of a church of that denom- 
ination in their neighborhood in pioneer days, Henry Richhart serving as a 
tvust^^^ of the same to the time of his death. For years also he was a 
justice of the peace and did his part well in the pioneer community. To 
him and his wife but two children were born, the subject of this sketch 
having had a sister, Alice, bom on September 10, 1854, who married Daniel 



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Il6 ' RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Van Natton, a farmer living north of Nickerson, and she died at Nicker- 
son, May 22, 1907, without issue. 

David Richhart was about eighteen years old when he came to Kansas 
with his parents, in 1873, and his schooling was completed in the school in 
district No. 24, one mile east of Nickerson, now recalled as the old Nicker- 
son school. He married in the fall of 1885 and homesteaded a farm not 
far from that of his father on the Reno-Rice county border, and proceeded 
to develop the same. He was a successful farmer and stock raiser and from 
the very first prospered in his operations, gradually enlarging his land hold- 
ings until he now is the owner of a fine farm of six hundred and forty 
acres, one-half of which lies in this county and the remainder in Rice county. 
In 1898 he retired from the farm and he and his family moved to Nicker- 
son, where they are very comfortably and very pleasantly situated. Mr. 
Richhart is a director of the State Bank of Nickerson and a stockholder in 
the Farmers Elevator Company, of the same place, long having been regarded 
as one of the most substantial and public-spirited men in that place. 

On October 15, 1885, David Richhart was united in marriage to Mary 
Cochran, who Was born in Pennsylvania on April 12, 1859, daughter of 
William and Margaret (Wilson) Cochran, and to this union three daugh- 
ters have been born, Ethel Lucile, born on November 26, 1889; Alma Mar- 
garet, November 2, 1891, and Letha Elizabeth, July 6, 1893; the two elder 
are teachers in the Reno and McPherson county public schools and all three 
are graduates of the Reno county high school. Ethel and Alma are grad- 
uates of the Southwestern College at Wingate, Kansas, and Letha, the 
youngest, is taking the domestic science and art course at the Kansas State 
Agricultural College. Mrs. Richhart and her daughters are members of the 
Methodist church at Nickerson, and the family takes an earnest part in the 
general' good works of the community. Mr. Richhart is a member of the 
Modern Woodmen of America and of the Anti-Horse-Thief Association, 
in the affairs of which organizations he takes a warm interest. 

Mrs. Richhart's father, William Cochran, was born in Ireland on Feb- 
ruary 22, 181^, and when seven years of age came to America with his 
parents and his sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, who settled^ near Jamestown, 
in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Cochran married Samuel Porter 
and Jane married Alexander McElhanney, the two families making their 
homes near the home farm, remaining there the rest of their lives. They 
were devout members of the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) church. 
There William Cochran grew to manhood and in 1843, at Slippery Rock, 
Pennsylvania, married Margaret Wilson, who was born in 1820, daughter 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. # II J 

of Thomas and Margaret (Adams) Wilson, the former of whom died on 
August 14, 1862, and the latter September 26, 1865. Thomas Wilson was 
the son of Ezekiel and Jane Wilson, who came to America from Scotland 
and settled near Newcastle, Pennsylvania, where their last days were spent. 
They also were earnest members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. To 
William Cochran and wife nine children were born, Nancy Ann (deceased), 
Samuel R., Margaret S., Thomas Wilson, David H. (deceased), William 
R., Mary T. (wife of Mr. Richhart), Elizabeth Porter and Allen. 



FRED W. COOTER. 



Fred W. Cooter, president of the State Exchange Bank of Hutchin- 
son, is a native son of Kansas and has lived in this state all his life. Though 
not born in Reno county, he has lived here since his early infancy and has 
never known another home, being therefore, very properly regarded as one 
of the real sons of Reno. He was born in Leavenworth, this state, Septem- 
ber 12, 1872, son of George W. and* Elizabeth (Hartford) Cooter, the for- 
mer of whom, now living retired in Hutchinson, was former treasurer of 
this county and for many years one of its most prominent and influential 
citizens. In a biographical sketch relating to the elder Cooter, presented 
elsewhere in this volume, there is set out a comprehensive history of the 
Cooter family in this county, to which the reader is respectfully referred in 
this connection for details regarding the genealogy of the subject of this 
biographical review. 

Fred W. Cooter was but one year old when his parents moved to Reno 
county and became homesteaders in Little River township^ they being among 
the ver>' earliest settlers and pioneers in that section of the county. He was 
reared on the homestead farm and received his education in the public 
schools and a business college course, between terms of school, taking his 
full part in the labor of developing the home place. When his father was 
elected county treasurer, in 1891, he moved with him to Hutchinson and 
served as deputy treasurer during the two terms in that office filled by the 
elder Cooter, and thereafter served two years as deputy treasurer under 
W. E. Bums, his father's successor. In 1898 Mr. Cooter was made assistant 
cashier of the State Exchange Bank of Hutchinson, and presently was 
elected cashier of that institution, serving in that capacity until his election 
to the presidency of the bank in October, 191 3, since which time he has 



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Il8 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

devoted his best energies to the success and development of that excellent 
financial institution. Mr. Cooter is an energetic, enterprising and public- 
spirited man of affairs and holds a high position in the commercial and 
financial life of the community. 

In 1895 Fred W. Cooter was united in marriage to Myrtle Sympson. 
Both are members of the Episcopal church and both he and his wife are 
deeply interested in all measures designed to advance the general, moral and 
social interests of the community and take an interested part in local good 
works. Mr. Cooter is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen 
and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that organization and is chair- 
man of the finance committee of the Grand Lodge. He has served as a 
member of the board of education of Hutchinson. 



JACOB A. YOUNG. 



Jacob A. Young, a well-known pioneer farmer of Roscoe township, 
this county, and an honored veteran of the Civil War, is a native of the 
great Keystone state, having been born in Miflin county, Pennsylvania, 
February 4, 1845, son of John and Harriet (Rudy) Young, both natives of 
that same county, the former of whom was the son of John Young, a native 
of Germany, who settled in Miflin county upon coming to this country and 
there established the family. 

The younger John Young was reared in Miflin county, was married 
there and there he continued to make his home until 1864, in which year he 
came West and settled in Cedar county, Iowa, where he lived on a rented 
farm until 1877, when he came to this county and joined his son, Jacob A., 
the subject of this sketch, who had located here three years before, and here 
he died three years later, in 1880. He was a Republican and he and his 
wife were members of the Dunkard church, in which faith they reared their 
children, twelve in number, Jacob A., Lewis, Daniel, Amanda, Noah, Adam, 
John, Alison, James, Abigail, Ellen and Elizabeth, all of whom are still 
living save Lewis, Daniel, Elizabeth and Alison. 

Jacob A. Young was reared on the home farm in Miflin county, Penn- 
sylvania, receiving his education in the neighboring district school, and in 
1862, he then being but seventeen years of age, enlisted for service in the 
Union army during the Civil War, in Company I, Twelfth Pennsylvania 
Reserve, and while thus connected participated in the seven-days battle before 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. II9 

Richmond. He then was stricken with typhoid fever and upon his recovery 
was discharged on a physician's certificate of disability. Later he re-enlisted 
and, as a member of Company B, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania Volunteer lafantry, served until the close of the war, 
during which service he was with Sherman to the sea. Upon the conclusion 
of his military service, Mr. Young rejoined his parents, who had meanwhile 
moved to Iowa, and in that state, in 1870, married Sarah E. Hagarty, daugh- 
ter of S. K. Hagarty and wife, and in 1874 came to Kansas with his wife 
and two children, entered a soldier's claim to a tract of land in Roscoe town- 
ship, this county, established his home there and has ever since resided on 
that homestead, he and his wife long having been regarded as among the 
leading pioneer residents of that part of the county. To his original home- 
stead, Mr. Young has added by purchase until he now is the owner of three 
hundred and twenty acres and is looked upon as a very substantial citizen. 
He has taken an active part in local politics and has served as trustee, clerk 
and treasurer of Roscoe township. 

To Jacob A. and Sarah E. (Hagarty) Young nine children have been 
bom, as follow: S. E., Albert, of Iowa; J. P., Rebecca, of Wichita; Rose- 
mary, also of Wichita; Delia, Pearl, of Wichita, who for two years served 
as assistant to the probate judge; Elizabeth and Helen, all of whom are 
living. Mr. and Mi;s. Young and their family are members of the Presby- 
terian church at Pretty Prairie and are active in the work of that church. 
Mr. Young is an Odd Fellow, and both he and his wife are active members 
of the Daughters of Rebekah, in the affairs of which organization they 
take a warm interest. 



FREDERICK HIRST. 



Frederick Hirst, trustee of Center township, this county, and one of 
the best-known farmers of the Partridge neighborhood, is a native of Wis- 
consin, having been born in the town of Darlington, that state, August 24, 
1868, son of George and Elizabeth (Bilbrough) Hirst, both of whom were 
bom in the city of Leeds, England, the former on June 21, 1825, and the 
latter May 19, 1^28. 

George Hirst was trained to the cabinet-maker's trade in his native city 
and also obtained a fine practical knowledge of the photographer's art. He 
married in 1855 and he and his wife at once came to the United States, 
settling at Janesville, Wisconsin. There Mr. Hirst engaged in the cabinet- 



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I20 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

making business and made his home there for several years, at the end of 
which time he moved to Darlington, Wisconsin, and established a photograph 
gallery, which he operated until 1872, in the spring of which year he came 
to this county and opened a photograph gallery in the promising village of 
Hutchinson, then but a year or two old. The next spring he brought his 
family here from Wisconsin and in that same year homesteaded the south- 
east quarter of section 6, in Lincoln township, this county. The next year, 
1874, he established his home on the homestead tract and was living there 
when the grasshopper plague swept over this section, the voracious insects 
eating the siding off his house. In 1878 George Hirst turned the photo- 
graph gallery in Hutchinson over to his eldest son, George, and thereafter 
devoted his whole time to his farm, spending the rest of his life there. He 
and his wife were Episcopalians in their religious persuasion, but during 
their residence in this county were not affiliated with any local church. Mr. 
Hirst was a Democrat and for several years served as justice of the peace in 
and for Lincoln township. He died on July 25, 1898, and his widow sur- 
vived him for sixteen years, her death occurring on September 25, 1914. 
They were the parents of seven children, namely: Hannah, now deceased, 
wfio married John Eaton; George, Jr., a well-known farmer of Lincoln 
township, who died in the fall of 191 5 and a memorial sketch of whom is 
presented elsewhere in this volume; Lida, who married George A. Wood- 
w^ard and died in 1885; Mary Ann, who died in childhood; Samuel, of 
Hutchinson, who for years operated Hirst's photographic studio in that 
city and who is now a traveling salesman for a photograph supply house; 
Frederick, the subject of this sketch, and William,, a farmer of Lincoln town- 
ship, a sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume. 

Frederick Hirst was five years old when his parents moved to Hutchin- 
son from Wisconsin in 1873. The next year the family moved to the 
homestead farm in Lincoln township and there he grew to manhood, receiv- 
ing his education in the district school in the neighborhood of the home 
farm and assisting in the development of the homestead until his marriage, 
in 1894. Four years before his marriage he had bought the south half of 
the southeast quarter of section 5, in Lincoln township, and after his mar- 
riage established his home on that place. A year later, however, he sold 
that farm and bought the southeast quarter of section 11, in Center town- 
ship, where he ever since has made his home and where he is very pleasantly- 
situated, the excellent farm house and other improvements on the place 
bespeaking the progressive character of the owner's farming methods. In 
1914 Mr. Hirst bought eighty acres of his father's old place in Lincoln 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 121 

township and is also the owner of a one-third interest in a three-hundred- 
and-twenty-acre tract of pasture land, the west half of section 31 in Troy 
township. Mr. Hirst is a Democrat and is at present serving as trustee of 
Center township and as school director for eighteen years, giving his most 
thoughtful attention to the administration of the affairs of that important 
office. He is a member of the local lodge of the Modern Woodmen and 
takes a warm interest in the affairs of that organization. 

On March i, 1894, Frederick Hirst was united in marriage to Lucy 
Walter, who was born in Reno township, this county, December 16, 1873, 
daughter of Christopher and Eva (Lohr) Walter, both now deceased, who 
were pioneers of .that section of the county, having homesteaded the south- 
east quarter of section 30 in Reno township in 1872, thus having been among 
the very earliest settlers of Reno county, and to .this union four children 
have been born, as Follow: George Walter, born on July 15, 1896, now 
attending an automobile school in Kansas City, Missouri; Bert Harvey, July 
25, 1898, .who is attending the high school at Partridge; Eva Marie, April 
16, 1907, and Frederick, Jr., November 30, 1914. 



WILLIAM F. CARSON. 



William F. Carson, a well-known farmer of Valley township, this county, 
an honored veteran of the Civil War and a pioneer settler of Reno county, 
is a native of Ohio, having been born on a farm in Brown county, that state, 
September 24, 1840, son of William G. and Elizabeth (Finley) Carson, 
both natives of that same state, the former of whom was born in Ross 
county and the latter in Brown county. 

William G. Carson was reared on a farm in Ross county and upon 
reaching manhood's estate rented a farm there, after his marriage, and 
lived there until 1856, when he and his family drove through to Woodford 
county, Illinois, where he rented a farm and made his home. His wife died 
there in i860, at the age of forty-two years, and in 1868 he went to Adams 
county, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring 
in 1892, at the age of eighty-four years. He was a Republican and he and 
his wife were members of the United Presbyterian church, in the rigid tenets 
of which faith their children were reared. There were ten of these children, 
namelv: Mrs. Margaret Parker, now living in Nebraska; William F., the 
subject of this biographical sketch; Mary, unmarried, who is making her 



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122 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

home with her brother-in-law in Iowa; Samuel, who lives in Idaho; Jane, 
now deceased, who married James Ramsey; Wilson, who died in California 
in 191 5; Sarah, who died in her early girlhood; James, a Nebraska farmer; 
Ebenezer, who was last heard from in Alaska, and Cyrus, who died in 
infancy. 

William F. Carson was about sixteen years old when he moved with 
his parents to Illinois, and he finished his schooling in the latter state. On 
August 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Seventy-seventh Regiment, 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served with that regiment until the close 
of the Civil War, being mustered out at Mobile, Alabama, July 10, 1865. 
Mr. Carson particijyated in all the activities of his regiment up to the day 
of the great charge during the siege of Vicksburg, at which time he was 
captured by the enemy, May 22, 1863. The next day he was paroled and 
he at once returned home on parole, where he remained until August 28, 
on which day he reported at the parole camp at Benton Barracks. In Novem- 
ber, 1863, he was exchanged and at once rejoined his regiment, then at 
Brady City. Following the Red River campaign the Severity-seventh Illi- 
nois was sent to New Orleans for garrison duty, after which it was sent on 
to Mobile, in the siege and capture of which city it took a prominent part, 
and after participating in the reduction of Spanish Fort and Ft. Blakeley 
returned to Mobile, where it was mustered out. 

Upon the conclusion of his military service, Mr. Carson returned to 
Illinois and began farming on his own account. He married in 1867, 
bought a farm, which he presently increased by further purchase and there 
made his home until he came to Kansas early in the spring of 1878. He 
disposed of his interests in Illinois and on March 11, 1878, chartered a car 
in which to transport his belongings and came to this county,' his destination 
being Hutchinson. After looking about a bit he bought an eighty-acre tract 
in section 30, Valley township, and there established his home in a one-room 
house, which served as a dwelling until he later erected a more comfortable 
dwelling. There he lived for six years, at the end of which time, in 1884, 
he bought another "eighty'* in the same section and moved onto the latter, 
where he still makes his home and where he and his wife are very pleasantly 
and comfortably situated. Mr. Carson was a Republican until the forma- 
tion of the Progressive party in 19 12, since which time he has favored the 
latter party. In 1894 he was elected justice of the peace for Valley town- 
ship for two years. He is an active member of Joe Hooker Post, Grand 
Army of the Republic, at Hutchinson, and takes a warm interest in the 
affairs of that patriotic organization. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I23 

On December 25, 1867, by Rev. J., W. West, William F. Carson was 
unite<i in marriage to Phoebe J. Baird, who was born on August 11, 1840, 
in Brown county, Ohio, Mrs. Carson's native county, but who was not 
acquainted with him until she moved to Illinois with her parents, Harvey 
and Margaret (Kirkpatrick) Baird, the former a native of North Carolina 
and the latter of Ohio, who moved to LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1856, and 
there spent the rest of their lives on a farm. To this union but one child 
has been born, a daughter, Rachel Jane, w^ho married Pliny Coberly, a well- 
Icnown farmer of Valley township, and has four children, Clyde, Elsie, 
Lucile and Harry. Mr. and Mrs. Carson are members of the Valley Pres- 
b\'terian church, of which Mr. Carson was for some years a member of the 
board of trustees. 

Mrs. Carson has a cupboard of walnut which was made over sixty 
years ago in Ohio from walnut luml)er taken off her father's farm, her 
sister also having a table of the same. Mr. Carson has a piece of the flag- 
staff that was shot off by Farragut at Fort Hinman. He had many narrow 
escapes, having his canteen pierced by bullets, also his tin cup on two occa- 
sions. The Carsons burned corn stalks the first two winters to keep warm. 



ARTHUR H. SUTER. 



Arthur H. Suter, cashier of the Commercial National Bank of Hutch- 
inson, and one of the best-known and most prominent figures in financial 
circles hereabout, is a native of Missouri, born at Palmyra, in Marion 
county, that state. May 18, 1877, son of Thomas J. and Elizabeth (Gash) 
Suter, both natives of Missouri, the former born in 1846 and the latter in 

1853. - 

For three generations the Suter family has been engaged in the bank- 
ing business. Thomas J. Suter's father, Verdner Suter, aided in the organi- 
zation of the Marion County Savings Bank, and for years was president of 
the bank, acting' in that capacity until his death. In his early youth, Thomas 
J. Suter became vice president of the above named bank, and ever since has 
been connected with that institution. His wife died in 1912, at the age of 
fifty-nine. They were the parents of two sons, the subject of this sketch 
having a brother, Ira T. Suter, still living at Palmyra, Missouri. 

Arthur H. Suter received his early education in the schools of Palmyra, 
Missouri, and when but a boy started to work in the bank with which his 



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124 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

father was connected. He was first employed as a collector, later was made 
bookkeeper, and was advanced to the position of assistant cashier, all the 
time giving his most studious attention to the technical details of the bank- 
ing business, and thus acquiring a broad general knowledge of the business. 

In pursuit of wider experience in the vocatioa to which he had devoted 
his life and his energies he went to St. Louis, where for several years he 
was connected with the Mechanics National Bank of that city. In 1902 
Mr. Suter organized the Farmers and Traders Bank at Hardin, Ray county, 
Missouri, an institution with a capital and surplus of fifty thousand dollars, 
and for three years was cashier of the same. He then sold his interests in- 
that bank and came to Kansas, locating at Hutchinson, where, with others, 
he organized the Hutchinson Building and Loan Association, and was made 
secretary of that institution. On July i, 1908, Mr. Suter was elected cash- 
ier of the Commercial National Bank of Hutchinson, and ever since has 
occupied that position, giving his whole attention to the' duties of the same, 
being recognized as a conservative banker of ability. The Commercial 
National Bank of Hutchinson was opened for business on November 20, 
1906, and is regarded as one of the best established and most substantial 
financial concerns in this part of the state, and Mr. Suter is one of the repre- 
sentative stockholders in this institution. While devoting his undivided 
attention to banking, Mr. Suter has also taken a keen interest in farming 
and stock raising, and is the owner of twelve hundred acres of good farm 
land in Comanche and Haskell counties, this state. He is also the owner 
of valuable down-town business properties in Hutchinson. 

In 1902 Arthur H. Suter was married to Ottie H. Heather, who also 
was born at Palmyra, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Suter are members of the 
Christian church and take an earnest interest in the general work of the 
same, as well as in all good works hereabout. Fraternally, Mr. Suter is a 
Mason, taking an active interest in the work of that order. 



HARRY H. TAYLOR. 



Harry H. Taylor, of the Taylor Motor Company, Hutchinson, this 
comity, official pilot and chief promoter of the **Santa Fe Trail'' and one 
of tlie l>est-known automobile men in the state of Kansas, is a Hoosier, 
having been born in Clark county, Indiana, not far from the banks of the 
Ohio river, February 5, 1869, son of S. D. and Priscilla (Monroe) Taylor. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 12$ 

S. D. Taylor was a farmer and in 1871 moved ffom Indiana to Illinois. 
He bought a large farm in Jasper county, that state, and there spent the 
rest of his life, his death occurring in 1905. His widow is now making 
her home with her children in Chicago. 

Harry H. Taylor was but two years old when his parents moved from 
Indiana to Illinois, and he was reared on the paternal farm in the latter 
state, receiving his education in the public schools in the neighborhood of 
his home. In 1888, at the age of nineteen years, he came to Kansas and 
located at Hutchinson. He engaged in newspaper work and for one year 
was employed in the office of the Hutchinson Democrat. In 1890 he began 
working in the office of the Hutchutson Daily Neivs, R. M. Easley, editor, 
and remained with that newspaper for several years, first as mailing clerk, 
then as bookkeeper and then a? manager of the office-supplies department. 
In 1909 Mr. Taylor began a study of the possibilities presented by the' auto- 
mobile business and organized a company, known as the Taylor Motor 
Company, the other stockholders being W. Y. Morgan, L. A. Bunker, E. T. 
Guymon and Dr. H. G. Welsh. This compariy secured the local agency for 
the sale of the Ford automobile and established a garage and general repair 
and supply and service station at 111-119 Sherman avenue, east, and Mr. 
Taylor is still located there, having made a great success of the business. 
He long ago bought the stock held in the concern by his associates and is 
now the sole owner of a very prosperous and growing business. The first 
year he was engaged jn business, 1909, his company sqld nine automobiles. 
In 19 1 4 he sold eight hundred and seventeen cars and now employs a force 
of twenty-six men in his place. He is also interested in several real-estate 
companies and is one of the directors of the Hutchinson Daily News Com- 
pany. 

Mr. Taylor has been looked upon as one of the leading automobile men 
of Kansas for years. The good roads movement has been one of his chief 
concerns and he was one of the most active leaders in promoting the same 
througiiout the state, having been the official pilot of- the new "Santa Fe 
Trail" ever since the creation of that modern highway over the ancient 
trail. Mr. Taylor is a member of the Kansas City Automobile Club and of 
the Hutchinson Country Club. He is a Republican and for years has been 
actively interested in local politics, but has never been an aspirant for public 
office. 

On September 24, 1895, Harry H. Taylor was united in marriage to 
Dora Reddersen, who was born in Ohio, daughter* of William and Augusta 
(Groschmer) Reddersen, the former of whom is a retail shoe merchant, and 



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126 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

to this union has been born one child, a daughter, Dorothy, born in 1896, 
who was graduated at Dana Hall, Wellesley, Massachusetts, in June, 191 5. 
Mr. Taylor is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the consistory 
and of the Mystic Shrine at Wichita, and is also an Elk. 



PIERCE C. ROBERTS. 



Pierce C. Roberts, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of Valley 
township, this county, who for years has made his home in Hutchinson, 
where he and his family are very pleasantly situated, is a native of Kentucky, 
born on a farm in Nelson county, that state, August 18, 1856, son and only 
child of John W. and Margaret (Weekly) Roberts, both natives of that 
same state, the former of whom died in Nelson county in 1862. In 1865 
his widow married, secondly, Lee G. Bruner, with whom she moved in that 
same year to Martin county, Indiana, where she lived until her death, March 
21, 1916, at a ripe old age. 

Pierce C. Roberts was but six years old when his father died and was 
about nine when he moved with his mother and his stepfather to Martin 
county, Indiana, where he continued his schooling in the local schools. He 
w^as reared a farmer and after his marriage in the fall of 1882 to a neighbor 
girl continued farming in Martin county until in March of 1888, when he 
and his wife and their two young sons came to Kansas, where they ever 
since have resided. Upon coming to this state Mr. Roberts bought a quarter 
of a section of land in Byron tow^nship, Stafford county, where he lived for 
thirteen years, at the end of which time he sold that place to advantage and 
came over into Reno county. He bought the west half of section 25, in 
Valley township, which he still owns, and which he has developed into a 
very fine piece of property. After a residence of three years on that farm 
Mr. Roberts retired from the active labors of the farm and moved to Hutch- 
inson, where he has lived ever since. Upon moving' to Hutchinson Mr. 
Roberts bought the residence at iioo North Main street, which he still ow^ns 
and where he and his family made their home until in 191 5, when he built 
his present residence at 14 Eleventh avenue, east, where he and his family 
are very comfortably situated. Since locating in Hutchinson, Mr. Roberts 
has taken an active part in public affairs and for more than eight years has 
Served as a deputy city assessor. He is a member of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that organiza- 
tion, as does Mrs. Roberts, who is a member of the Daughters of Rebekah. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 12/ 

It was on November 2T, 1882, in Martin county, Indiana, that Pierce 
C. Roberts was united in marriage to Martha Imogene Smith, who was born 
in that county on December 7, 1857, daughter of Dr. Nicholas S. and Mary 
J. (Charles) Smith, both natives of Orange county, Indiana, and prominent 
and influential residents of that section of the Hoosier state, the lattef of 
whom is still living, making her home^t Hutchinson, this county, in a ripe 
old age. Mary Jane Charles was bom on September 22. 1836, and on 
February 12, 1857, at Natchez, in Martin county, Indiana, was married to 
Eh". Nicholas S. Smith, who was born on August 31, 1828, son of a prominent 
pioneer Baptist preacher, who had emigrated to that section of Indiana 
from Kentucky. Doctor Smith's eldest brother, Daniel, also was a physi- 
cian, but when his brother entered practice he turned his attention to the 
gosi>el ministry, was ordained a minister of the Methodist church and thus 
continued until he was placed on the honorably retired list. Doctor "Smith's 
second brother, Harrison, also was a minister, but followed his father in the 
Baptist faith and was for many years a minister of that church. The ven- 
erable Mrs. Smith still recalls the days when she would sit for an hour and 
a half listening to the sermons of the Rev. Harrison Smith without growing 
wear>^ There were three other brothers, Ford, John and Benjamin Smith, 
who, though not ministers, were very pious men and active in all good 
works. Mrs. Smith's father, William Charles, was the son of William 
Charles, one of the earliest settlers of Orange county, Indiana, who was killed 
by Indians while plowing in his field near the pioneer blockhouse at French 
Lick Springs in that cbunty. The son, William, then was but two years old 
and a year later was orphaned, indeed, when his mother died, unable to re- 
cover from the shock and grief due to the murder of her husband, and he was 
reared to manhood by a cousin, Azor Charles. Dr. Nicholas S. Smith 
enlisted for service in the Union army upon the breaking out of the Civil 
War and went to the front as first lieutenant of Company A, Seventeenth 
Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he serv^ed for three 
years, at the end of which time he received his honorable discharge on a 
physician's certificate of disability, illness incapacitating him for further 
service. To Doctor Smith and wife three children were born, Mrs. Roberts 
having" had two brothers, Daniel L. Smith, former clerk of Pueblo county, 
Colorado, who died on March 13, 1900, and Delos V. Smith, who is engaged 
in the saddlery business at Hutchinson. Daniel L. Smith married Eugenia 
E>av of Pueblo, Colorado, and had four children, Darwin Bidwell, Marth^ 
Irene, Wolcot and Elizabeth. Delos V. Smith married Bessie Bloom and 



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128 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

has one child, a son, Delos. Dr. Nicholas S. Smith died at his home in 
Martin county, Indiana, June 12, 1867, his health having been permanently 
impaired by his service in the army. 

To Pierce C. and Martha Imogene (Smith) Roberts three children 
have been bom, sons all, Harry W., bom in Martin county, Indiana, Novem- 
ber 17, 1883, now operating a general store at Elkhart, Kansas, who mar- 
ried Ethel Burnett, December 25, 1908, and has three children, Eugene Pierce, 
born on October 17, 1909; Harry Daniel, December 26, 1912, and died in 
May, 1913, and Robert Bumett, August 20, 191 5; Daniel Leroy, born in 
Martin county, Indiana, February 8, 1886, a progressive young tnan in 
partnership with his brothers at Elkhart, who married Margaret Newey, 
March 23, 1907, and has two children, Margaret Estella, bom on June 17, 
191 1, and Daniel Leroy, Jr., June 15, 1915, and Chester I., born in Byron 
township, Stafford county, this state, November 16, 1893, ^^o is connected 
with his brother in the general mercantile business at Elkhart. Mr. and 
Mrs. Roberts are members of the Christian church and take a proper inter- 
est in the various beneficences of the same as well as in all worthy move- 
ments for the advancement of the common interest hereabout. 



CHARLES E. WAGONER. 

The late Charles E. Wagoner, for years a well-known and popular 
dairyman in the Hutchinson neighborhood and later prosperous rancher 
and stockman, who died at his home in Reno township, this county, on June 
5, 191 1, was a native of Ohio, having been born on a farm near Bellevue, in 
Huron county, that state, on June 5, 1863, and his death occurred on the 
forty-eighth anniversary of his birth. He was the son of Levi and Sarah 
W^agoner, farming people of Ohio, who came to Kansas about the year 
1880 and settled on a farm near the town of Sterling, in Rice county, where 
they spent the remainder of their lives, devout members of the Christian 
church. Besides the subject, another of their sons came to Reno county, 
David Wagoner, who is a well-known farmer in Valley township. 

Charles E. Wagoner was about sixteen years old when he came to 
Kansas with his parents and he grew to manhood on the home farm in 
Rice county. He married young, in 1883, and then bought a farm lying 
between Sterling and Lyons, in Rice county, on which he lived for a few 
years, at the end of which time he sold it and for a time thereafter rented 
farms in the Sterling neighborhood. He always was interested in cattle and 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 29 

was considered an expert in their care. It was his great desire to become 
an extensive stockman, but the seasons of drought and hot winds about that 
period so strongly militated against his success that in 1900 he still was a 
poor man. In 1901 he decided to make a change of base and with this end 
in view came to Reno county, where, on the outskirts of Hutchinson, he 
engaged in market gardening for a season, at the same time doing a small 
business in the dairy line, he having brought nine cows and a team of horses 
with him. The dairy business seemed promising and he presently bought 
out the extensive equipment of the Charles Bloom dairy and went into the 
business on a considerable scale. He had practically no money to pay down 
for the equipment he bought, but he was able to secure the same on advan- 
tageous terms and was successful from the very start, it not being long 
before he was the proprietor of the leading dairy farm in the county, his 
product proving so popular in and about Hutchinson that he was enabled to 
raise the rate to a price above five cents the quart, the first time such an 
increase had been attempted in Hutchinson, without creating a protest on 
the part of his customers. He and his wife and his children all worked 
diligently and with excellent results, their business prospering beyond their 
most hopeful expectations. 

When Charles E. Wagoner arrived in Reno county in 1901 he was 
eight hundred dollars in debt and possessed practically nothing save the nine 
cows and the team of horses above mentioned. Ten years later he was the 
owner of four hundred and twenty acres of choice land in Reno county, all 
paid for and producing him a handsome revenue from his extensive opera- 
tions in cattle. From the profits of his dairy business he bought, in 1907, 
a half section of land from William Buttles, in Clay township, remodeled 
the house which stood on the same, put up modern farm buildings and 
engaged in cattle raising, the pursuit in which his heart had always been 
most closely concerned. In 19 10 he sold the dairy business and devoted his 
whole attention to cattle raising and was greatly prosperous, a short time 
before his death he having bought an additional hundred acres adjoining his 
original half section in Clay township. His specialty was pure-bred Short- 
horn cattle and Poland China hogs and his stock farm soon gained a wide 
reputation for the fine quality of its stock. Since his death his widow and 
her three sons have continued successfully to manage the farm. Mr. Wag- 
oner was a member of the Christian church, as are all the members of his 
family. He was a Democrat, and in his lodge affiliations was connected with 
the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Knights of the Maccabees. 

(9a) 



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130 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

On December 4, 1883, Charles E. Wagoner was united in marriage to 
Emma Gibson, who was born in Cedar county, Iowa, February 20, i860, 
daughter of James and Sarah Gibson, both of whom were bom in the city 
of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but who did not meet until they were grown 
and living in Cedar county, Iowa. James Gibson, for eighteen years, had 
done service as a bookkeeper in a commercial concern in Pittsburgh and 
then, deciding to get a touch of the West, moved to Iowa, settling in Cedar 
county, where he bought a farm and there he married, his wife having lived 
in that county since her childhood, her parents having moved from Pitts- 
burgh. In the spring of 1875 James Gibson sold his Iowa farm and came 
to Kansas, driving through with his family and such portable belongings as 
conveniently could be loaded in the wagon, and driving several cows along, 
the family arriving at Sterling, in Rice county, on June i, 1875. On their 
way they had driven through Hutchinson, the little daughter, Emma, now 
Mrs. Wagoner, driving the cows through the main street of the town. She 
recalls to this day the dreary appearance presented at that time by the strag- 
gling village, a half waste of drifting sand dotted by houses of a very crude 
style of architecture. Upon arriving in Rice county, James Gibson bought 
a half section of land and later bought more land, presently becoming quite 
well-to-do. He and his wife were devout people, members of the Christian 
church, and earnest folk, who set about establishing the new home very 
energetically. They were the parents of eight daughters and one son, the 
latter of whom, the youngest of the family, was the only one of the family 
born in Kansas. Upon their arrival in Rice county, *the Gibsons were poor, 
but all hands set to work and pretty soon they began to see their way dear. 
The older daughters taught school and brought home every cent of the 
money thus earned, all going into the common fund with which to pay off 
the mortgage on the original purchase of land. Emma Gibson, now Mrs. 
Wagoner, was the eldest of these eight helpful daughters and much of the 
burden of providing ways and means fell upon her willing shoulders. At 
the age of sixteen she began teaching school and from the first was success- 
ful, continuing her service as a teacher for ten years. During the earlier 
years of this service her father begged her not to marry, but to stay with 
him, a helpful daughter, until the obligation of his debt was released and 
she promised to do so; and kept her promise. Mrs. Wagoner is a very 
capable woman and is making a very successful farm manager. She is ably 
assisted by her three sons, Vernon, who was born on June i, 1894; Perlon, 
February 22, 1897, and Harlon, April 9, 1900. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I3I 

JAMES L. PENNEY. 

Associated with the business interests of Hutchinson, Reno county, 
Kansas, almost from the very beginning of that town, the late James L. 
Penney played an important part in the upbuilding of this now thriving city. 
While Mr. Penney was a successful business man, he was not content to 
work for his ow^n interests only, but was always ready to aid every measure 
for the benefit of the public, and especially for his interest in the cause of 
education will he long be remembered in the city of Hutchinson. 

James L. Penney was born in the pleasant village of Adams, in Jeffer- 
son county. New York, June 5, 1848, the son of George and Mary (Gard- 
ner) Penney, both of whom were natives of the Empire state. 

George Penney was of English descent and was a farmer in Jefferson 
county. Both he and his wife lived in New York state all their lives, and 
were devoted members of the Baptist church. They were the parents of six 
sons and one daughter, the subject of this sketch being the youngest of the 
family. 

James L. Penney attended the public schools of his native town, and 
was graduated from the Hungerford Institute at Adams, New York. After 
teaching school in New York state for several terms he went to live wath a 
brother in LaSalle county, Illinois, and taught school in that locality one 
winter. In 1869, Mr. Penney went to Topeka, Kansas, and became cashier 
of the Alfred Ennis Company, which firm carried on a law and real-estate 
business. 

The town of Hutchinson was founded in 1871 by C. C. Hutchinson, 
who determined, in the year following, to establish a bank in the new town. 
Accordingly, he wrote to the P^nnis Company in Topeka to recommend a 
young man for cashier of the new bank. The company recommended Mr. 
Penney, and so, in April, 1872, he came to Hutchinson as cashier of the 
Reno County Bank — the first bank in Reno county. The bank i>assed safely 
through the panic of 1873, and after an existence of four years was sold 
out in 1876. Mr. Penney then bought a partnership with J. S. George, with 
whom he was associated for two years in the grocery business. He then 
went to Odell, Illinois, and joined his brother, Seth H. Penney, in conduct- 
ing a general store, remaining there about two years. 

Mr. Penney returned to Hutchinson in 1880, and built a corn and wheat 
feed-mill on the bank of the mill race where Avenue C is now located. 
Later he formed a second partnership with J. S. George in the Hutchinson 



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132 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Produce Company, which was located on the corner of Washington and 
First streets. Subsequently. Mr. Penney organized the Hutchinson Music 
Company, at 17 South Main street, of which company he was president and 
main owner, and in which business he continued until his retirement from 
active affairs in 1908. 

On April 8, 1873, James L. Penney was united in marriage in Topeka, 
Kansas, with Mary McLaughlin, of Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of 
Col. John A. and Louisa (Moorhouse) McLaughlin, both of whom were 
descended from Revolutionary ancestors. The maternal grandfather of 
Col. John A. McLaughlin, a Kimberley, emigrated from Connecticut to 
Ohio, where he secured a land grant given to Revolutionary soldiers. Louisa 
Moorhouse came from an old Virginia family, her great-grandfather. Col. 
Robert McFarland, having served in the American Revolution. 

James L. and Mary (McLaughlin) Penney were the parents of three 
children, Louis Arthur, who died when two years old, Elizabeth, Alice and 
Edith Louise. Elizabeth Alice Penney is the wife of John F. Fontron, 
who is associated with the Fontron Loan and Trust Company, of Hutchin- 
son. Edith Louise Penney on June 29, 191 1, was married to Oscar A. 
Peterson, of Hutchinson. 

James L. Penney served as secretary and treasurer of the Hutchinson 
school board for several terms in the early seventies. He promoted the 
movement to issue bonds to build the first large school house in the city. 
This bond issue was opposed by citizens in certain sections of the city who 
wished the school house located in their neighborhood. As the time for 
the election drew near it looked as though the bond issue would be defeated, 
and it was mainly due to the efforts of C. C. Hutchinson and Mr. Penney 
and his wife that the bond issue was carried. Mr. Penney sold the bonds 
in Kansas City and with the proceeds he and his associates built the '*Sher- 
man Street school house," which was the school attended by all the Hutchin- 
son pioneer children. This building served for forty years, when it was 
torn down in 191 5, to be replaced by a modern building. 

Mr. Penney served on the school board for several terms at a later 
period. He was an ardent Republican, and was esi>ecially interested in good 
local government. He was a charter meml^er of the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen. He attended the Pres1)yterian church. James L. Penney 
died in Hutchinson on March 29, 19 14, and was sincerely mourned by all 
who knew him. 

When Mr. and Mrs. Penney returned to Hutchinson they resided in 
the first block on Avenue B, west, and lived there for twenty-two years. 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. 1 33 

111 1902, they built the residence at 521 Sherman avenue, east, which Mrs. 
['enney still owns. This home is built on a lot which is part of an acre in 
the C. C. Hutchinson farm on which the city was founded. Mrs. Penney 
had owned the acre tract since 1876. 

Mrs. Mary (McLaughlin) Penney, is a member of the Daughters of 
the American Revolution. During her residence in Hutchinson she has seen 
the straggling village grow into a beautiful and prosperous city and can 
take just pride in the knowledge that she and her husband helped in this 
development. 



WALTER B. HARRIS. 



Walter B. Harris, official surveyor and civil engineer of Reno county 
and one of the best-known civil engineers in Kansas, is a native of Arkan- 
sas, having been born in Stone county, that state, August 18, 1868, son of 
Augustus B. and Carrie V. (Stevens) Harris, the former a native of 
Arkansas and the latter of Tennessee, both now deceased. 

Augustus B. Harris was reared on a farm in his native state and grew 
up to strong, robust manhood. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted 
in the cause of the Confederate states and served to the close of the war, 
being present with Lee at the surrender at Appomattox. He participated in 
the battle of Shiloh and numerous of the bloodiest engagements of the war, 
receiving several wounds, which undoubtedly shortened his life. Upon the 
conclusion of his military service he walked back from Virginia to his home 
in Arkansas and there engaged in the general mercantile business in his 
home village, being thus engaged until his death, at the age of thirty-six 
years, in 1874. His widow survived until 19 12, her death occurring at San 
Antonio, Texas. She was the mother of three children, the subject of this 
sketch having two sisters, Mabel, who married R. J. Jeffrey and lives at 
Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Margaret, who married T. A. Black, a grocer 
at San Antonio, Texas. 

Walter B. Harris was six years old when his father died. His ele- 
mentary schooling was obtained in the schools of his home village and he 
later entered the Missouri School of Mining at Rolla, from w^hich he was 
graduated after a four-years course in 1895, with the degree of Civil Engi- 
neer. Thus equipped for the calling to w^hich he had devoted his life, Mr. 
Harris took employment with the FVisco railroad, in Missouri, as a civil 
engineer, later going to the Midland Valley, in Oklahoma, in the same 



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134 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

capacity. He also surveyed numerous branch railroads, and was thus 
engaged until he was installed as assistant city engineer at Hutchinson in 
1905. After two years of service in that connection he was employed on an 
irrigation project in New Mexico for a year, at the end Of which time he 
returned to Hutchinson and resumed his former place in the city engineer's 
office, and was thus engaged until his appointment in 19 10 to the office of 
county engineer of Reno county, which position he ever since has held. 
Mr. Harris is a member of the Kansas Engineering Society and is one of 
the best-known civil engineers in this state. 

On July 5, 1904, at St. Louis, Missouri, Walter B. Harris was united 
in marriage to Eliza B. McKinley, who was born in Pennsylvania, and to 
this union two children have been born, Margaret M., bom on May 5, 1906, 
and Victor B., July 2, 1908. Mr. Harris has a very pleasant home at 122 
Seventh avenue and he and his wife take an interested part in the, various 
social and cultural activities of their home town. 



THE FONTRON FAMILY. 

The founder of the Fontron family in America, prominently repre- 
sented in Hutchinson, Reno county, Kansas, by Joseph A. Fontron, Louis 
E. Fontron and John F. Fontron, was Joseph Vonthron, an Alsatian, who 
came to the United States in 1832, locating in Peoria county, Illinois. He 
erected and operated the first grist- and saw-mill in the city of Peoria, 
known at that time as Ft. Clark. He was also largely interested in farm 
lands there. After his death the name of Vonthron was Anglicized, becom- 
ing Fontron. 

In 1838 Joseph Vonthron married Katherine Herr, a Bavarian, who 
came to this country and located in Peoria county, Illinois, in 1832. In 
1849, attracted by the gold fields of Cahfornia, Joseph Vonthron left his 
interests and started for the new Eldorado. He died in California in 1851, 
leaving a widow and four children, the eldest, Mary, still living in Peoria, 
Illinois; Katherine and Elizabeth, deceased, and Joseph A. Fontron, then 
five years of age. 

Joseph A. Fontron was married at Hennepin, Illinois, in 1870 to Anna 
Feltes, who was \yorn at Kinderhook, New York, March 10, 1852, and was 
the daughter of Peter and EHzal^eth (McDermott) Feltes. After their 
marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Fontron lived in Henry, Illinois, until 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 35 

1873. They then removed to Castleton, Stark county, Illinois, where for 
three years Mr. Fontron was engaged in the mercantile business. In 1876 
they came to Hutchinson, Kansas. Mr. Fontron was engaged for one year 
in the mercantile business, erecting a two-story building on lot No. 5, North 
Main street, which building is still standing. The next fifteen years were 
spent by Mr. Fontron and family upon a homestead in Grant township, 
this county. In 189 1 the family returned to Hutchinson where J. A. Font- 
ron served as probate judge for three terms and in 1907 he engaged in the 
real-estate and loan business. He has always taken an active interest in 
general business and civic affairs of Hutchinson and Reno county, and 
assisted in organizing the Hutchinson Building and Loan Association and 
for two years acted as its president. Since 1897 he has been actively 
engaged in the real-estate and loan business, merging his interests with those 
of the Fontron Loan and Trust Company upon the organization of the latter 
in May, 1915. 

Five children were bom to Joseph A. and Anna Feltes Fontron, namely : 
Eva, Joseph P., Mabel, John F. and Louis E. Eva Fontron, who was bom 
in Henry, Illinois, August 5, 1871, married W. D. Puterbaugh, eldest son 
of John Puterbaugh, in 1894, and died on December 21, 191 5, at North 
Yakima, Washington. Joseph P. Fontron was born on March 22, 1873, at 
Castleton, Illinois, and married Fan Hardy, daughter of George W. Hardy, 
of Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1904. Joseph P. Fontron is .now a prominent 
attorney of Kansas City, Missouri. Mabel Fontron, born in Castleton, Illi- 
nois, June 12, 1875, and married Paul Rewrpan on July 10, 191 1, is now 
residing in Deadwood, South Dakota. John F. Fontron, born in Hutchin- 
son, Kansas, March 15, 1877, married Elizabeth Alice Penney, daughter of 
J. L. Penney, December 31, 1902. John F. Fontron was for fourteen years 
engaged in the jewelry business at McPherson, Kansas, returning to Hutchin- 
son in 1915 and becoming associated with the Fontron Loan and Trust 
Company as secretary-treasurer, upon the organization of that institution in 
May, 191 5. To Mr. and Mrs. John F. Fontron were bom three children, 
John, Jr., born on December 2, 1903; Dorothy, bom on April 25, 1905, and 
Alice, born on October 9, 1910. Louis E. Fontron, who was born on the 
farm in Grant township Reno county, Kansas, January 28, 1879, was twelve 
years of age when the family moved to Hutchinson. In 190T he entered 
with his father in the real-estate, loan and insurance business, in which he 
has since been engaged and during which time he has become one of the 
prominent loan men in this part of the state. In 191 5 he organized the 
Fontron Loan and Trust Company, of which he was elected first president. 



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136 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

the position which he now holds. This marked the first trust company 
organization in Hutchinson and central Kansas. In October, 1902, Louis 
E. Fontron was married to Mary Elizabeth Bigger, of Hutchinson, Kansas, 
daughter of L. A. Bigger, in a biographical sketch of whom presented 
elsewhere in this issue there is set out a history of the Bigger family in 
this county. To this union two children have been born, Elizabeth, born on 
December 25, 1903, and Anna, born on Septernber n, 1907. 

In the spring of 191 3 Louis E. Fontron was elected mayor of Hutchin- 
son, which official position he held for one term, declining to seek a second 
term in'order to devote himself to his business interests. 



JAMES FRANKLIN McMURRY. 

I James Franklin McMurry, a well-known and progressive farmer of 
Lincoln township, this county, is a native of Tennessee, having been born on 
a farm in Haywood county, that state, September 17, 1846, son of William 
H. and Martha J. (Faires) McMurry, the former of whom was born near 
Murfreesboro, in that same state, in April, 1823, and the latter in Alabama, 
in August, 1823, both of whom si>ent their last days in this county, having 
come here from Tennessee a year or two after Reno county was opened for 
settlement in the early seventies. 

William H. McMurry was reared on a farm in eastern Tennessee and 
when still a boy moved with his parents to Haywood county, in the same 
state, where he later married and bought a tract of "Congress land" at one 
dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. He presently sold that farm and 
bought a larger one, on which he made his home until 1872, in which year 
he and a couple of his Tennessee neighbors, James A. Moore and H. D. 
Freeman came to Kansas on a prospecting tour. In the fall of that year 
Mr. McMurry bought a full section of railroad land in Lincoln township, 
this county, the same being section 23. He arranged for the erection of a 
house on his section and returned to Tennessee, coming back to Reno county 
the next year with his family and establishing his home on his new place in 
Lincoln township, and there he and his wife remained the rest of their 
lives. William H. McMurry was a Union man during the time of the Civil 
War and was a Republican ever after, his influence with the party hereabout 
during pioneer days having considerable weight. He became a substantial 
farmer and an extensive dealer in hogs, taking a good deal of pride in the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 37 

high grade of hogs that he raised on his place. He and his wife were mem- 
bers of the Methodist church and took an earnest and an influential part in 
all good works in their neighborhood. Mr. McMurry died in 1903, he then 
being eighty years of age, and his widow survived him for three years, her 
death occurring in 1907, at the age of eighty-four. They were the parents 
of seven children, as follow: James F., the immediate subject of this bio- 
graphical sketch; Harriet, who lives in Lincoln township, widow of D. M. 
Stewart ; Elizabeth Jane, who married J. C. Moore and lives in Hutchinson, 
this county; Mrs. Susan F. Allen, now deceased; Hugh L., who died in 
October, 1876, at the age of seventeen years; William Eli, a retired farmer, 
now living at Winfield, this state, and Charles W., who lives on a farm in 
Lincoln township, this county. 

James F. McMurry grew up on the home farm in Haywood county, 
Tennessee, receiving an excellent education in the subscription schools in the 
neighborhood of his home, the public-school system not being inaugurated in 
that state until after the Civil War, and at the age of twenty-one began 
teaching in the public schools and was thus engaged for ten years, farming 
during the summer months. In 1869 he married and for a year thereafter 
lived on a rented farm. He then bought a small farm of sixty acres and 
there made his home until 1884, ^^ which year he followed his father's excel- 
lent example and came to Kansas, arriving in Reno county in December of 
that year. He located in Lincoln township, near his father's extensive place, 
and for six years rented farms in that vicinity, prospering meanwhile, so 
that in 1891 he was able to buy a quarter of a section of excellent land in 
Lincoln township, the same being the northwest quarter of section 22, and 
has made his home there ever since. Upon taking possession of his farm, 
Mr. McMurry enlarged the house that then stood on the place and has oth^- 
wise improved the farm, also bringing it up to a high state of cultivation; in 
addition to general farming being also largely interested in the dairy busi- 
ness, from which he derives considerable profit. Mr. McMurry is a Republi- 
can and has served his party several times as a precinct committeeman: From 
1904 to 1908 he served the county very acceptably as a member of the board 
of county commissioners and is widely and most favorably known through- 
out the county. 

On December 2, 1869, James F. McMurry was united in marriage to 
Ann Mariah Thomas, who was bom in Haywood county, Tennessee, August 
18, 1849, daughter of John B. and Marcia (VanBuren) Thomas, the former 
a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky, early settlers in Haywood 
county, and to this union seven children have been born, namely: Edgar L., 



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138 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

bom on July 31, 1870, who was killed in an automobile accident on December 
26, 1909; Guy T., November 20, 1871, who married Rhoda Hertzler and 
lives on a farm near Ft. Benton, Montana; Lulu J., June 11, 1874, who 
married W. E. Uhl and lives in Ft. Benton county, Montana; Ernest and 
Pearl, twins, June 26, 1878, the former of whom married Cora Gander and 
was killed by a runaway team on April 16, 1913, and the latter married J. O. 
McNew and died on October 22, 1901 ; Linnie Kate, July 2, 1880, who mar- 
ried J. O. Dix and lives on a farm in Lincoln township, this county, and 
Hugh, January 10, 1885, ^ho died on August 10, 1889. The McMurrys 
are members of the Methodist church at Elmer and for years have been 
active in the various beneficences of the same, Mr. McMurry being a member 
of the board of trustees of the church. The family is regarded as one of 
the most substantial factors in the community life thereabout and its mem- 
bers are held in high esteem by all. 



BENJAMIN E. GILES. 



Benjamin E. Giles was born in Tazewell county, Illinois, January 22, 
1865. His father, Stelle Giles (1833-1907), was reared near Plainfield, 
New Jersey, married Mar\' C. Albro (1826-1909), of Newport, Rhode 
Island, pioneer farmers in Illinois from 1850 to 1877, ^^^ lived one year 
in Hutchinson, Kansas, in a house which is still standing at First and Maple 
streets, the property belonging to John Nelson. In the spring of 1878, 
Stelle Giles and his sons drove to Barton county and purchased land at the 
head of Cow Creek, and the same fall was joined by the family, and there 
they became extensive farmers and stockmen. When, in 1887, the Mis- 
souri Pacific railway was built, Benjamin E. Giles helped secure the right 
of way, also aided in having bonds voted in different townships. This rail- 
road crossing their land, they formed a comi>any and founded Giles City, 
now Chaflin. Judge Hamilton, who laid out the railroad, lived with them 
while there. Chaflin, becoming prosperous, later shipped more wheat in 
one year than any other town in Kansas. Mr. Giles built a fine suburban 
home and continued his farming operations with great success, and in 1900, 
sold out and moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Giles were 
members of the Baptist and Christian churches, respectively. Their chil- 
dren are as follow : Mrs. Mary A. Bass, of McPherson ; Mrs. Estella New- 
combe, of Great Bend; Emma, the wife of H. W. Galloway, of Pawnee 



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m 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 39 

county; William A., of Pawnee county; S. A., of Denver, Colorado; Benja- 
min E., of Hutchinson; Carrie, the widow of L. W. Cook, formerly an 
editor of Elmwood. 

Benjamin E. Giles came to Kansas when thirteen years of age, attended 
the old Sherman street school in Hutchinson, and herded cows on the com- 
mons on the site of his present residence. After the family moved to Barton 
county, he rode five miles to school until one nearer his home was started, 
and finished his schooling at Great Bend, in the meantime working hard. 
After leaving school he bought a farm six miles northeast of Chaflin, and 
in 1897 engaged in the real estate business at Great Bend, with Porter 
Young, remaining with the firm for six years, and during this period the 
firm sold five hundred thousand acres of mostly western lands, which was 
claimed to be the greatest record in the state. Besides his real estate busi- 
ness Mr. Giles was also extensively engaged in farming and stock raising on 
an acreage of between two and three thousand acres, and for three years 
owned and operated a ranch consisting of thirty- four hundred acres in 
Hodgeman county, Kansas, keeping nearly one thousand cattle and many 
' mules and horses. In 1909 he bought and located on the Greorge Cole farm, 

northwest of Hutchinson, in order to give his children rural and urban 
f advantages. In 1914 he purchased his present home, an attractive bunga- 

low at 211 Ninth avenue, Hutchinson. He owns nine hundred and sixty 
acres of land in Pawnee county, Kansas, which is managed by his son, 
Elton, and a son-in-law, A. E. Immenschuh. He also owns a wheat farm 
of nine hundred and sixty acres in Kiowa county, Kansas, purchased in 
1899, and managed by his son, Leonard, as well as five hundred and sixty 
acres in Ford county, Kansas. 

On April 20, 1887, at St. John, Benjamin E. Giles was married to 
Nydia B. Lamb, a native of Butler county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter 
of Daniel and Malinda Lamb. In 1885 ^^s. Giles' parents moved from 
Pennsylvania to Kansas, purchasing a half section of land near Chaflin. 
Later they moved to St. John, but are now living at Grand Junction, Colo- 
rado, aged ninety-eight and seventy-eight, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Giles have been born the following children: Alice, the wife of A. E. 
Immenschuh, has two children, Benjamin and Eugene; Ethel, the wife of 
Elmer Justice, of Garden City, Kansas, has one son, Lawrence: Elton, a 
graduate of the high school at Hutchinson, and later a student for a year 
at Emporia College, spent one year at the Kansas State Agricultural Col- 
lege, Manhattan, Kansas, and won much fame as a foot-ball player; Helen. 



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I40 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

a kindergarten teacher in Hutchinson, and Gertrude and Margaret, the last 
two named being still in school. 

Mr. Giles is a Republican in politics, and has always taken a prominent 
part in all matters of local importance and upbuilding. He was chief pro- 
moter, a director and is now vice-president of the Straw-Board Manufactur- 
ing Company, of Hutchinson, which is a large and prosperous concern. He 
is president and chief organizer of the Hutchinson & Western Interurban 
Railway Company. He is a Mason, Monging to the blue lodge and con- 
sistory at Great Bend, and to the Mystic Shrine at Salina. He is a charter 
member of the lodge of Odd Fellows at Chaflin, and is a trustee, though 
non-member of the congregational church at Hutchinson, to which his wife 
belongs, and assisted in its building. 



MELVIN J. REYNOLDS. 

A descendant of one of the old families of Virginia, the subject of this 
sketch was early thrown on his own resources. After the family had 
suffered considerable loss in the general havoc wrought by the war between 
the States, Melvin J. Reynolds came to the West and after years of diligent 
application is now comfortably situated on a fine quarter section in this 
county. 

Melvin J. Reynolds was born on August 31, i860, in Russell county, 
Virginia, the son of Isaac V. and Sarah J. (Ferguson) Reynolds, both of 
whom were born in Russell county, where the family had lived for many 
generations. Isaac V. Reynolds was the son of Ira Reynolds, who was the 
owner of a large plantation in Virginia before the war. 

During the Civil War, Isaac V. Reynolds served in the Confederate 
army in the Sixteenth Virginia Cavalry, under the command of General 
McCausland. After serving throughout the war, Isaac V. Reynolds returned 
to his home, but he never recovered from the effects of a cold contracted 
while in the army, and died in 1866, at the age of twenty-nine years. 

Sarah J. Ferguson w'as lx)rn on December 21, 1837. She was married 
to Isaac V. Reynolds a short time before the war. When her husband died 
in 1866 she was left with the care of two small children, and seeking a bet- 
ter location in which to rear her family than the then devastated region of 
her home seemed to offer, she removed to Illinois, in 1873, and located in 
Adams county, where she kept house for seven years for William Burke. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I4I 

Later, Mrs. Reynolds bought a farm in that county, and lived in Illinois the 
remainder of her life. She died at Ellen Grove, Illinois, December 23, 
1907, at the age of seventy years. Mrs. Reynolds was a member of the 
Missionary Baptist church and was active in all good works in that com- 
munion. 

Isaac V. and Sarah J. (Ferguson) Reynolds were the parents of two 
children, namely: Melvin J., the subject of this sketch, and Ira, a farmer 
in Adams county, Illinois, who lives on the old home farm of one hundred 
and forty-three acres. 

In Virginia, Melvin J. Reynolds attended subscription school for a few 
terms, the tuition being paid by his mother through the sale of chestnuts, 
cabbage and tobacco. When the family removed to Illinois in 1873, Melvin 
J. was thirteen years old. He attended the district school in the winter 
and worked on farms in the summer, living in Adams county with his 
mother until he was twenty-two years old. 

In 1882, Mr. Reynolds went to Sumner county, Kansas, where he 
secured employment with A. B. Burke, a big sheep man, with whom he 
worked for eleven years. At that time the sheep were on the open range 
and were herded from Nebraska to southwest Texas, changing pastures 
with the seasons. Mr. Reynolds soon became an expert in the sheep busi- 
ness and was made foreman of the outfit, subsequently he became financially 
interested with his employer; Melvin J. Reynolds came to Reno county in 
1894 and located in Salt Creek township, where he rented a farm of Moses 
C. Stahly. Mr. Reynolds conducted this farm on a rental basis for many 
years, and finally, in 1912, purchased one hundred and sixty acres of the 
place, being the southeast quarter of section 32. Mr. Reynolds has put 
numerous improvements on the farm. He keeps a good grade of stock and 
engages principally in wheat farming, which has been very profitable in 
recent years. -^ 

Melvin J. Reynolds was married on November 26, 1900, to x\my Stahly. 
who was bom near Nappanee, in Elkhart county, Indiana, the daughter of 
Moses C. and Mary (Nisley) Stahly. Moses C. Stahly came to Reno 
county, Kansas, from Indiana in 1885, and bought a farm in Salt Creek 
township. In 1903 he and his wife moved to Hutchinson, where they still 
live and where Mr. Stahly is engaged as a carpenter. 

Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds are the parents of one son, Ferguson, who was 
bom on October 23, 1904. Mr. Reynolds is a Democrat, and takes a 
proper interest in all matters aftecting the welfare of the community. He 
and his wife have a wide circle of friends in this part of Reno county. 



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14- 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



WILSON SMITH. 

Wilson Smith, best known as one of the influential citizens of Nicker- 
son, Reno county, Kansas, was born on September 28, i860, in Peoria, 
Illinois, and is the son of Henry and Margaret (Wilson) Smith, who were 
both born in Ireland. Henry Smith was born in 1826, and died in 1902. 
He immigrated to America previous to his marriage and located in Phila- 
delphia. Margaret Wilson was brought to this country when a girl and her 
marriage to Henry Smith was solemnized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 
where she then lived. Her death occurred in 1862. She was the mother 
of five sons, whose names follow: Robert and William, deceased; Lewis 
C, Robert, who has been unheard from for many years, and Wilson. After 
the death of Margaret (Wilson) Smith, her husband married Mariah (Wil- 
son) Reece, widow of Joseph Reece, and of this second union four children 
were bom, namely: Mariah, Newell, David, deceased, and Loren. Mariah 
(Wilson) Reece was the mother of one child by her first marriage, Jennie. 
Henry Smith was a resident of Illinois at the time of his death and both he 
and his wife were active in local church affairs, being devoted members of 
the Presbyterian church. 

Wilson Smith lived in Illinois until twenty-two years of age, when he 
located in Butler county, Kansas. After his marriage and for the past 
thirty years Lewis has lived with his brother. Lewis Smith is a farmer who 
operates a place containing about six hundred acres of land and first began 
his career in this vocation in 1877. 

On February 18, 1886, Wilson Smith was united in marriage to Alice 
Thompson, daughter of William P. and Mary A. (Kizer) Thompson. Wil- 
son Smith and wife are the parents of two children, I^ura and Edith, who 
are both in training at the State Normal School at Pittsburg, Kansas. The 
marriage of Wilson Smith and Alice Thompson was solemnized in Wash- 
ington, Illinois. Alice (Thompson) Smith was born on December 11, 1861, 
and is one of ten children born to the union of her parents, five of whom 
are now living. Their names follow: Elizabeth and Elijah, deceased; Celia 
A., Lucinda E., Mary Louisa, Ella, Alice, Emma C. and two who died in 
infancy. William P. Thompson was a native of Pennsylvania, while his 
wife was born in Virginia. They met and married in Ohio, in 1841, and 
thence removed to Illinois where they established a permanent home. Both 
husband and wife were active members of the Christian church and liberal 
supporters of same. William P. Thompson was born in 181 7 and his death 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 43 

occurred on April 21, 1903, his wife preceding him by ten years. She 
was born in 1821. 

Wilson Smith was a resident of Kansas for three years previous to 
his marriage, returning to Illinois for his bride. Upon his return to this 
section, they purchased eighty acres and added to it until they had seven 
hundred and twenty acres of land in Westminster township. Mr. Smith 
continued to make that his home until 1908, at which time he removed to 
the town of Nickerson. Since coming to this city he has been identified 
with all progressive civic questions and has served as a member of the town 
council for three years past. He is also active as a member of the Christian 
church, serving its interests as an elder for seven years. 



J'. O. WHEELER. 



J. O. Wheeler was born in Jackson county, Indiana, November 8, 1830. 
He is a son of Orrel H. Wheeler, who was born in Vermont. His mother 
was Elizabeth Love, a daughter of John Love, who moved from eastern 
Tennessee to Indiana, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was a 
soldier in the War of 18 12. 

Mr. Wheeler's paternal grandfather was Nehemiah Wheeler, a New 
Englander, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, entering the service 
at the age of sixteen years. Nehemiah Wheeler first settled in Ohio, but 
later moved to Jackson county, Indiana, where he lived the remainder of his 
life. His wife was Thursie Hall. He was a son of Enoch Wheeler, and 
the grandson of Samuel Wheeler, who was the first representative of the 
Wheeler family who settled in America. 

Orrel H. Wheeler's education comprised three months in a country 
school, but he became a well-read man. He was twice married, his first 
wife being J. O. Wheeler's mother. He came to Jackson county, Indiana, 
with his father's family, when twelve years old. He learned the carpenter's 
trade, but after moving to Jasper coimty, Illinois, he followed farming the 
rest of his life, his death occurring in the latter county. 

J. O. Wheeler received his education in the common schools of Jack- 
son county, Indiana, and was a student in the high school in Jennings county, 
Indiana. After leaving school Mr. Wheeler took up farming and also learned 
the carpenter's trade. Upon the breaking out of the Civil War, he enlisted 
for service in the Union army on August 14, 1862, and served three years 



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144 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

with the Ninety-eighth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Mounted Infantry. He 
received gunshot wounds in the hand and in the back while in the service, 
and from third sergeant he was promoted to first sergeant, then to first 
lieutenant. After the war he resumed farming, and in May, 1873, moved 
from Indiana to Kansas, homesteading land four miles west of Nickerson. 
Here he and his family endured all the hardships of the early Kansas 
pioneers, hunting buffalo bones for a living and contending with the grass- 
hopper plague. Mr. Wheeler has now retired from active life, being almost 
blind. 

On August 16, 1852, J. O. Wheeler was married to Mary Ruddick, 
who was a native of Jackson county, Indiana, and who died on July 13, 
1914. They were the parents of the following children: Emma E., who 
married Albert Dean and they have seven children; Alice, who married J. 
M. Asher; Solomon, Julia, Clara Jane, who married William Dean and they 
have five children; Charles Harvey, who is now living on the farm, married 
Fannie Johnson and they have five children. All are deceased but Charles 
Harvey. Mrs. Wheler in early life was a Quaker, but later was a member 
of the Methodist church, in which denomination Mr. Wheeler is still active. 



CHARLES BLOOM. 



Charles Bloom, who for many years was one of the best-known busi- 
ness men in Hutchinson and who later lived very comfortably on his fine 
farm in Reno township until his death on January 29, 1916, was a native 
of Germany, having been lx)ni in the town of Waldmohr, Rhenish Bavaria, 
on June 24, 1846, son of Philip and Mary (Zimmer) Bloom, both bom and 
reared in Bavaria, members of the German Reformed church, and the for- 
mer of whom was a blacksmith. 

In 1856 the Bloom family emigrated to America, the vessel on which 
they sailed teing forty-eight days on the way to the port of New York. 
Upon arriving in this country, the Blooms located at Tiffin, in Seneca county, 
Ohio, later moving to a farm near that city, where Mr. and Mrs. Bloom 
spent the remainder of their lives, both dying in 1870, the former at the age 
of seventy-two and the latter at the age of fifty-six. They were the par- 
ents of seven children, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch was 
the youngest, the others being as follow: Philip, Jr., now deceased, who 
was a farmer in Ohio; Jacob, now deceased, who was a blacksmith in Ohio; 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I45 

Caroline, who died unmarried in Indiana; Charlotte, now deceased, who 
married George Hartman, of Seneca county, Ohio; Mary, who married 
William Leper and lives in Tiffin, Ohio, and Dora, who lives in Ft. Wayne, 
Indiana, widow of Luther Allbrecht. 

Charles Bloom was six years of age when he arrived in this country 
with his parents and his schooling therefore was wholly confined to the 
American system of education. He performed valuable labors in his youth 
in assisting in the clearing of the home farm in Seneca county, Ohio, and at 
the age of twenty-two, in 1868, he came to Kansas and entered a claim in 
Wilson county, but the fever and ague at that time were proving such draw- 
backs to that section of the state that he abandoned his claim and went to 
Andrews county, Missouri, where, in the village ofBalco, he opened a black- 
smith shop, he having learned that trade from his father, and was thus en- 
gaged until 1872, in which year he rented a farm in that same county, he 
having married there in the fall of 1871, and there he lived for four years, 
at the end of which time he decided that Kansas offered better opportuni- 
ties for material advancement and returned to the state he had left in disgust 
seven or eight years before. He arrived in Reno county on July 18, 1876, 
where he lived until his death. Upon his arrival here he settled in Hutchin- 
son, even then a most promising village, and bought a building on the corner 
of Second and Main streets, in which, in partnership with his brother-in-law, 
A. M. West, they started a livery stable, which they conducted for some 
time. In 1878 Mr. Bloom and his partner bought the water-power flour mill, 
which they operated until 1901. Mr. Bloom also was the organizer and one 
of the five men who composed the wholesale grocery concern of C. Bloom 
& Company and was connected with that flourishing business until 1901, at 
the same time being actively connected with the retail grocery and general 
store of the A. M. West Company, from 1883 to 1891, dividing his time 
about equally between the two enterprises. In 1895, five or six years before 
his retirement from business in Hutchinson, Mr. Bloom had bought two 
hundred and forty acres of the Wolcott ranch, west of Hutchinson, and 
after his retirement made his home there. For several years he operated an 
extensive dairy there, but in later years confined his attention wholly to gen- 
eral farming and gave his personal attention to the management of his well- 
kept farm. In 1910 Mr. Bloom's second son, Ralph H. Bloom, opened a 
livery barn in Hutchinson and Mr. Bloom had an interest in that concern. 

On October 3, 1871, Charles Bloom was united in marriage, in Seneca 
county, Ohio, to Margaret E. West, who was born in that county, daughter 
(loa) 



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146 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

of James and Julia West, and to this union three children have been born: 
H. Clayton, a retired merchant living in Hutchinson; Ralph H., who operates 
a livery barn in Hutchinson, and Bessie, who married Delos Smith, president 
of the Hutchinson Wholesale Saddlery Company. 

Mr. Bloom was a Democrat and during the early years of his residence 
and during the time of his active business career took an active and influen- 
tial part in the political affairs of Reno county and of the county seat town, 
but never was an office seeker. He was honorable and upright in all his 
relations in life, and will be long remembered by his many associates and 
friends. 



ROBERT JAMES GRAHAM. 

The late Robert James Graham, for more than twenty years one of 
Hutchinson's sterling and most substantial citizens, a man highly respected 
throughout the whole county, active and influential in all good works here- 
about, whose widow, Mrs. Sarah Marshall Graham, is still living in Hutch- 
inson, honored and respected by the entire community, was a native of 
Ohio, having been born on a farm in Morrow county, that state, March 8, 
1850, son of Thomas and Isabelle (Walker) Graham, both natives of Wash- 
ington county, Pennsylvania, and both of sterling Scottish descent. 

Soon after their marriage, Thomas Graham and wife left Pennsylvania 
and moved over into central Ohio, settling in Morrow county, where they 
bought a farm and there spent the remainder of their lives, Mrs. Graham 
dying w^hen the subject of this sketch was nine years old. Eight children 
were born to Thomas Graham and his wife and all were reared in the strict 
faith of the Reformed church, both Mr. and Mrs. Graham having been 
rigid ^'Covenanters." Thomas Graham was a good farmer and an excellent 
manager and became a man of considerable substance, his children being 
given every advantage in the w^ay of schooling and cultural training, all 
becoming good citizens, serving usefully in their respective callings. 

Robert J. Graham received his elementary education in the schools of 
his native county and supplemented the same by a thorough course in 
Oberlin College, from which he was graduated with honors. He had been 
reared to the life of the farm and soon after his marriage, on April 23, 
1873, bought a farm in Richland county, Ohio, where he made his home 
until 1884, in which year he disposed of all his holdings there and came 
West with the intention of settling in Dakota. On the way out he stopped 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I47 

at Hutchinson, this county, to make a visit with his brother-in-law, W. R. 
Marshall, who had located in that city some time previously, and during 
that visit became much impressed with the possibilities of this section of the 
state. He continued his trip to Dakota, however, but after having received 
so favorable an impression of conditions hereabout was not much impressed 
with conditions in Dakota. Upon his return to Hutchinson, Mr. Graham 
told his wife, who meanwhile had remained there, that they would remain 
in Hutchinson that winter and if conditions still seemed favorable in the 
following spring they would make their home here. During that winter Mr. 
Graham's liking for Kansas increased and in the spring he bought three 
hundred and twenty acres of land in Lincoln township, continuing, how- 
ever, to make his home in Hutchinson, managing the farm from his home 
in town. Later he increased his investment in Reno county realty by buying 
the quarter section just north of Hutchinson, which his widow sold in 1909 
to the Kansas State Fair Association and which has been converted into the 
state fair grounds. 

In the early nineties Robert J. Graham became a partner with Mr. 
Ardery in the A. & A. drug-store enterprise at Hutchinson and for ten 
years was an active partner in the same. He also was interested in various 
other enterprises in and about the city and was long regarded as one of 
Hutchinson's leading citizens, so that at the time of his death, on October 18, 
1905, he was widely mourned, the community recognizing that he had been 
true and faithful in all the obligations of hfe^. In 1888, four years after 
taking up his residence in Hutchinson, Mr. Graham built a pleasant home at 
310 Fourth avenue, east, where his widow still lives, very comfortably sit- 
uated and enjoying the constant evidences of the high esteem in which she 
is held by the entire community, her devotion to all good works hereabout 
having endeared her to all. Mrs. Graham is alone in her home, so far as 
family is concerned. Three of her babies died in infancy and the only child 
who grew to maturity, her dearly loved daughter, Myrtle, who married 
Harry Squire, died in February, 1909. Mrs. Graham's parents, Robert and 
Rebecca (Riddle) Marshall, died in Richland county, Ohio, before her mar- 
riage to Mr. Graham, but she has a sister, Mrs. Dora Silver, wife of George 
Silver, of Ellsworth, this state, and a brother, Edgar Marshall, a prominent 
clothing merchant of Mansfield, Ohio. Another brother, the late William 
R. Marshall, was for years a well-known resident of Hutchinson, this county. 

Robert J. Graham was an earnest member of the Presbyterian church 
at Hutchinson, in the vai;ious beneficences of which he ever took a warm 
interest, his widow still being devoted to the same. Mr. Graham was a Re- 



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148 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

publican and ever took a good citizen's interest in local political affairs, 
being greatly concerned in good government, though never having been 
included in the office-seeking class. He was a member of the order of Mod- 
em Woodmen, in the affairs of which he took a warm interest and during 
the two decades and more in which he made his home in Hutchinson was 
regarded as one of that city's most popular citizens, a friend to all, all 
friendly to him, a good neighbor and an enterprising and public-spirited 
citizen. 



WILLIAM PEARSON. 



William Pearson, a veteran of the Civil War and one of the pioneer 
farmers of Reno county, who lived retired at his pleasant home at 221 
Eleventh avenue, west, in Hutchinson, until his death, on September 12, 
I9i5> was a native of the Emerald Isle, having been born in Londonderry, 
County Derry, in the north of Ireland, on March 29, 1841, son of Gibbons 
and Jane (Wilson) Pearson, both natives of that county, of Scottish descent, 
the former of whom was a member of the established church of England 
and the latter a Presbyterian. 

Gibbons Pearson was a contracting teamster, the owner of more than 
a dozen teams, who had the contract to do all the hauling between London- 
derry and a neighborhood village. In 184 1 he emigrated with his family to 
America, stopping for a sliort time in New York City, where he was 
employed as a teamster, presently moving to a town in Pennsylvania, where 
he died within the year. His widow never remarried and presently moved- 
back to New York City, where she spent the remainder of her life. She 
was left with seven children, five sons and two daughters, upon the death of 
her husband, and she bravely kept her family together, bringing them up to 
lives of usefulness. Of these children, the subject of this biographical 
sketch, who was next to the youngest, was the only one who ever came 
West, the others making their homes in New York City and Brooklyn, and 
they are all now deceased. 

William Pearson was an infant in arms when he was brought to 
America by his parents and was but two years of age when his father died. 
He attended the public schools of New York City and at the age of four- 
teen began learning the carpenter trade. In May, 1861, when twenty years 
of age, he responded to President Lincoln's first call for volunteers to help 
put down the rebellion of the Southern states, enlisting in New York City 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 49 

in Company F, Seventy-ninth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, the 
famous ''Highlanders,'' with which he served for a little more than three 
years, being mustered out in June, 1864. During this term of service, Mr. 
Pearson was a participant in some of the most important and bloody en- 
gagements of the Civil War. His regiment was attached to the Ninth Army 
Corps, First Division of Burnsides' Army, and was present at both battles 
of Bull Run, of Port Royal Ferry, South Carolina; of South Mountain, 
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Jackson, Blue Springs, the siege of 
Knoxville, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Hatchers Run and Petersburg. 

At the close of his army service, Mr. Pearson returned to New York 
and entered the employ of his brother, Alexander, who was engaged in the 
manufacture of sewing-machine cases for the Grove & Baker factory, and 
in 1867 became his brother's partner, this arrangement continuing until 
1872, in which year he engaged in the retail furniture business in the city 
of Brooklyn and became quite successful in that line. In the meantime, in 
1866, he had married and had established his family in a fine three-story 
house in the city. In 1874 an a.sthmatic trouble with which Mr. Pearson 
for some tiijie had been afflicted became so pronounced that it was declared 
imperative that he should seek a different climate. With that end in view 
he came to Kansas, leaving his family in their home in Brooklyn, and sought 
relief from his disability in the far-sweeping and health-giving breezes of 
Reno county, living here during the summer and fall of 1874, "batching" 
with a homesteader in Medford township, and was so agreeably impressed 
with the possibilities of this region that he bought a quarter of a section of 
land thereabout as an investment. To his great joy, he presently found that 
his asthmatic affliction had entirely disappeared and he returned home, con- 
fident that hje was permanently restored ot his former excellent state of 
health. He had not been home more than a fortnight, however, until his 
old enemy, the asthma, again attacked him and this time with such force 
that his life was despaired of. He hastened back to his old quarters in this 
county and then and there decide<l to make this his permanent home, his 
affliction again having disappeared. 

Preparatory to the establishment of his new home, Mr. Pearson home- 
steaded one-quarter of section 12, in Medford township, adjoining the quar- 
ter of a section he previously had bought, and set alx)ut the erection of a 
home. Not content to bring his family, accustomed to the comforts of their 
fine home in the city, to such a form of habitation as that represented in the 
"shacks" such as his pioneer neighbors had built on their homestead lands, 
Mr. Pearson, at much trouble and no small expense, caused to be erected a 



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150 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

large frame house, one and one-half stories in height, filled in between the 
weather-boarding and the plaster with bricks, in order to make it as near 
winter-proof and cyclone-proof as possible, the house being probably the 
largest and best house in the county at that time. Mr. Pearson's care in 
thus providing for the coming needs of his family was^a matter of wide 
comment throughout the county and one of the Hutchinson newspapers of 
that date was moved to remark that "k New Yorker has come to the county 
and has built a mansion on his farm.'* When all was in readiness, Mr. 
Pearson sent for his wife and family, having meanwhile closed out his busi- 
ness interests in the city, and they arrived on July 4, 1876. 

In order to gain a closer acquaintance with his pioneer neighbors and 
as a suitable **house- warming'' for the new home, Mr. Pearson had extended 
a general invitation throughout the countryside for all the pioneer neighbors 
to gather in at his new home on a certain evening and become acquainted 
with his wife and family. The response to this cordial invitation was gen- 
eral, the people of that then sparsely settled country coming distances of 
twenty miles or more to take part in the festivities. That had been a season 
of hard fortune for the i)eople hereabout, what with the drought and the 
grasshoppers, and the opportunity thus to break the dread monotony of 
conditions on the prairie was not to be overlooked. A number of great 
turkeys, together with *'lashin's of fixin's" had been provided for the occa- 
sion and the Pearson home then and there established a reputation for hos- 
pitality that it ever retained. The only musicians in Hutchinson, four in 
number, had been brought out to the new homestead to provide music for 
the dance which followed the feast, and dancing was kept up in the new 
barn, the floor of which had been converted into an admirable dancing sur- 
face, until six o'clock the next morning. The floor of one of the large 
rooms in the house was nearly covered with the sleeping babies, thus tucked 
away for the night while their respective mothers were enjoying the festivi- 
ties. And thus the Pearsons established themselves in Reno county, the 
"house-warming" which inaugurated their arrival here still being a matter 
of pleasant recollection on the part of the surviving *'old-timers," who have 
never ceased to keep in mind the opening of the new home. 

From the very beginning of his farming operations in this county, Mr. 
Pearson was successful and he gradually enlarged his original holdings 
until he became the owner of four hundred acres of valuable land. In 1902 
he retired from the active duties of the farm and he and his w^fe, who had 
ever been a valuable and competent helpmate in the life on the farm, moved 
into Hutchinson, where she is now living in a very pleasant home at 221 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I5I 

Eleventh street, west. On July 3, 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson would have 
celebrated their *'golden wedding," had he lived, that date marking tlie fiftieth 
anniversary of their marriage in New York City on July 3, 1866. Mrs. Pear- 
son, who before her marriage was Ellen Edwards, was born in Canada and 
located in New York City when a small girl, her parents, Matthew and 
Jane (McLean) Edwards, moving to the city at that time. To the 
union of William and Ellen (Edwards) Pearson eight children were born, 
namely: Alexander, who is engaged in the furniture business at Eugene, 
Oregon; Ella, who died at the age of twenty; Thomas Burnsides, who lives 
on the old homestead farm in Medford township; William Gibbons, who is 
engaged in the piano business in Kansas City, Missouri; James Lincoln, 
connected with the Zinn Jewelry Company at Hutchinson; Jennie, who mar- 
ried Charles Smith, a well-known farmer of Reno township, this county; 
Mary E., who married William Davis, a Medford township farmer, and 
Sarah M., who married Herman Hostetter and died on February 12, 1909. 
M/. and Mrs. Pearson were members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and their children were reared in that faith. Mr. Pearson was a Mason and 
a member of Joe Hooker Post, Grand Army of the RepubHc, and for years 
took a warm interest in the affairs both of the lodge and of his fellow 
veterans of the Civil War. 



HENRY G. CURNUTT. 



Henry G. Curnutt, an honored veteran of the Civil War and a pioneer 
farmer of this county, now Hving pleasantly retired in the city of Hutchin- 
son, is a Hoosier, having been born in Fayette county, Indiana, December 
24, 1844, son of Calloway and Lydia (Hutchings) Curnutt, the former of 
whom was a Virginian who migrated to Indiana when a boy, with his par- 
^i$, and the latter a native of Indiana. 

Calloway Curnutt grew to manhood in Fayette county, Indiana, being 
reared on a pioneer farm, and upon reaching manhood's estate began farm- 
ing on his own account. He married a neighbor girl and established a 
home there, in which he and his family lived until 1849, ^" which year they 
i^oved to Montgomery county, Indiana, settling on a farm near the village 
'^^ New Richmond, on which he and his wife spent their last days. They 
w^t-e Methodists and substantial and useful members of the community in 
^Wch they lived. Calloway Curnutt died in 1858, in his fortieth year, and 



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152 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



his widow • survived him but five years, her death occurring in February, 
1863, ^t the age of forty-five. They were the parents of eight children, five 
sons and three daughters, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch 
was the third in order of birth, and but one other of whom, the Rev. Will- 
iam Cumutt, now deceased, for years a well-known minister of the Meth- 
odist church at lola, Kansas, ever came to this state. One of the other 
sons, Frank Cumutt, next older than Henry G., was killed in battle at 
Stone s river, while fighting for the cause of the Union during the Civil 
War. 

^ Henry G. Curnutt was five years old when his parents moved from 

Fayette county to Montgomery county, Indiana, and he grew to manhood 

ll on the home farm in the latter county, receiving his education in the pioneer 

I district school of that neighborhood. On July 25, 1862, he enlisted in Com- 

J' pany E, Seventy-second Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for service 

during the Civil War, and served until February 4, 1863, on which date he 
j was honorably discharged on account of physical disability, having been 

confined in hospital for two months previous to his discharge. His regiment 
|j was attached to the Army of the Cumberland and among the important 

ij engagements in which he participated was the battle of Castillian Springs. 

At the termination of his military service, Mr. Curnutt returned home and, 
after recuperating from his weakened condition, took active management of 
the home place, he being the eldest of the sons of their widowed mother at 
home. His mother died in the same month in which he was discharged 
from military service and he kept things going at home for five years, or 
. until 1868, in which year the family disbanded and he went to Macon 
county, Illinois, where he rented a farm and established a home of his own. 
On May 21, 1867, Mr. Curnutt had married Dortha E. Smith, who was 
born and reared in Montgomery county, Indiana, and who ably assisted him 
in creating the new home in Illinois. She died there on June 10, 1875, 
leaving two children, Frank, who now lives in Caddo county, Oklahoma, he 
having drawn a valuable farm claim in the allotment of lands when the 
Indian territory was opened for settlement, and May, who married Harry 
Camren, of Montgomery county, Indiana, and died in February, 1906. 

Following the death of his wife, Henry G. Curnutt gave up his farm- 
ing operations in Illinois and, leaving his small daughter with kinsfolk in 
Indiana, cam.e to Kansas, seeking a new start amid the conditions that then 
seemed so promising in this county. He homesteaded a claim in Huntsville 
township and on February 14, 1877, married, secondly, in that township, 
Sarah E. Wilson, who was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, on February 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 53 

3, 1849, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (McMahon) Wilson, the former 
a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio, who were married in the 
latter state and made their home in Muskingum county, where Samuel Wil- 
son followed farming until the time of his death, in 1852. He and his wife 
were the parents of six children, Mrs. Cumutt being the sixth in order of 
birth. Of these six children, but one other is now living, Robert Wilson, a 
resident of Belvidere, Nebraska. The Widow Wilson did not remarry and 
upon the opening of Reno county to settlement came here with her family 
and homesteaded a quarter of a section of land in Huntsville township, 
where she created a new home, which, however, she did not live long to 
enjoy, for her death occurred in 1875, she then being sixty-three years, 
nine months and ten days of age. Not long after his marriage in this 
county, Mr. Cumutt sold his homestead and bought the northwest quarter 
of section 2, township 23, range 9 west, in Huntsville township, and as he 
prospered in his farming operations added to the same until he now is the 
owner of a fine farm of two hundred and thirteen and one-half acres there, 
on which for years he carried on, quite extensively, general farming and 
stock raising and became quite well-to-do. In 1898 he and his wife retired 
from the active duties of the farm and moved to Nickerson, this county, 
where they lived until in April, 191 3, in which month they moved to Hutch- 
inson and bought a pleasant home at 305 Sixth avenue, east, where they are 
now living. 

To Henry G. and Sarah E. (Wilson) Curnutt two children have been 
l^rn, WilHam, who is managing the home farm in Huntsville township, 
tarried Pearl Decker and has two children, William and Nellie, and Alma, 
V^uO married Bartley Jessup, a banker of Abbeyville, this county, and has 
\yiO children, Ruth and Freda Ellen. Mr. and Mrs. Curnutt are members 
of the Methodist church and for years have been active in the good works 
of that denomination. For seven years Mr. Curnutt was superintendent of 
the Sunday school of the Methodist church in Huntsville township, a stew- 
ard of the church and a consistent financial supporter of the same. Mr. 
Turnutt also was active and influential in the promotion of the interests of 
the schools of that township and for sixteen years was treasurer of the com- 
bined school districts of his neighborhood, inclusive of four districts, and 
did much to help elevate educational standards thereabout. He is a Repub- 
lican and has ever given a good citizen's attention to the political affairs of 
the county. Enterprising and energetic, he took a prominent part in the 
promotion of the various interests of his home neighlx)rhood and for eight 
years was president of the Nickerson Telephone Company, a concern which 



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154 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

he helped to establish. Mr. Curnutt is an active member of Joe Hooker 
Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and takes a warm interest in the affairs 
of that patriotic society. 



HENRY NEUENSCHWANDER. 

Henry Neuenschwander, a well-known farmer of Salt Creek township, 
this county, is a Hoosier by birth, having been born in Adams county, 
Indiana, on January 17, 1878, son of Jacob Neuenschwander and wife, 
members of the Mennonite colony in that county, who were the parents 
of five children, three of whom are still living, those besides the subject 
of this sketch being Noah, who lives in Oklahoma, and Josie, who married 
George Keller and also lives in Oklahoma. The mother of these children 
died when her son, Henry, was a baby, and the latter has no recollection of 
ever having heard her name. Jacob Nuenschwander married, secondly, Bar- 
bara Eagley, and in 1884 he and his family came to Kansas, settUng in this 
county, where he bought a quarter of a section of land in Salt Creek town- 
ship and established a new home. To his second marriage two children 
were born, a daughter who died in youth and a son, Emil, who is now 
living in Oklahoma. In 1900 Jacob Neuenschwander sold his place in this 
county and moved, with his family, to Beaver county, Oklahoma, where he 
and his wife are still living, devout members of the Mennonite colony there. 

Henry Neuenschwander was six years old when he came with his 
family to this county and he was reared on the home farm in Salt Creek 
township, attending the district schools and living the simple and somewhat 
puritanical life of a Mennonite farmer boy. He was twenty-two years old 
when he accompanied his father and the other members of the family to 
Oklahoma. He remained there two years, assisting his father in getting 
settled in his new home, after which he returned to this county, married 
and rented a farm in Enterprise township, on which he made his home until 
1912, in which year he bought a quarter of a section of the farm of his 
father-in-law, John Schott, the southwest quarter of section 3, in Salt Creek 
township, including the Schott homestead, and there he has since made his 
home, becoming a prosperous and substantial farmer, his father-in-law, 
whose wife died in 1887, making his home with him and his wife. All are 
members of the Mennonite church, substantial and excellent people, who 
lend much to the general stability of that section of the county. Mr. Neuen- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I55 

schwander never votes, in common with the practice of the people of his 
faith, but once served as clerk of the school district. Though, in the main, 
following the old-fashioned ways of his fathers in the manner of conducting 
his farm operations, he does not wholly decry modern methods and finds his 
Ford automobile a great help and convenience. 

On August 19, 1902, Henry Neuenschwander was united in marriage 
to Lucy Schott, who was bom in Wayne county, Indiana, daughter of John 
and Katie Schott, and who came to this county with her parents when she 
was four years old and here grew to womanhood. John Schott is a native 
of France, having been born in a Mennonite settlement in the eastern part 
of that country. As a young man he emigrated to the United States and 
finally located in Allen county, Indiana, in the Ft. Wayne neighborhood, 
where he married, later moving to Wayne county, in the neighborhood of 
Richmond, where he lived until 1878, in which year he and his family came 
to Kansas and settled in this county, buying the southwest quarter of section 
3, in Salt Creek township, railroad land, and there made their new home. As 
noted above, Mrs. Schott died in 1887, and in 1912 Mr. Schott sold his 
farm to his son-in-law, Mr. Neuenschwander, who had married his daugh- 
ter, Lucy, youngest of his children in a family of six. Mr. and Mrs. Neuen- 
schwander have one son, Paul J. They also have in their household Helen 
and Arthur, whom they have undertaken to rear to manhood and woman- 
hood 



} SWAN ESKELSON. 

No history of Reno county would be complete without fitting reference 
tothe'life and the works of the late Swan Eskelson, one of the very earliest 
settlers of this county, who braved all the privations and the distressing 
conditions that confronted the pioneers of this section during the early years 
of the settlement hereabout and who succeeded largely, in time coming to 
be one of the most substantial farmers and stockmen of the Hutchinson 
neighborhood, his fine farm in Clay township having been developed from 
the homestead which he entered there in 1871, three months after the first 
settlement made in Reno county. 

Swan Eskelson was born near the town of Wexo, Sweden, December 
3, 1826, and was past eighty-nine years of age at the time of his death, on 
January 15, 1916. He was the son of Eskel and Ingebar (Jahnsdatter) 
Swanson, natives of the kingdom of Sweden, who spent all their lives in that 



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156 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

country, rearing their children in the faith of the Lutheran church. Eskel 
Swanson died in 1856 and his widow survived him many years, her death 
occurring in 1884, she then being past ninety years of age. Swan Eskelson 
was reared on a farm and when twenty-two years of age married Kersting 
Germanson, who was born in Sweden in October, 1825. After his marriage 
he tilled his father's farm, rearing his family there, until the spring of 1871, 
at which time he came to the United States, he and the other members of 
his family joining at Topeka, this state, in June, his sons, John, who had 
come to this country in 1869, ^"^1 Peter, who had followed in 1870. Upon 
arriving- in Kansas, Swan Eskelson lost little time in seeking a homestead 
tract and in the summer of 1871 homesteaded the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 24, in Clay township, Reno county, in addition to which he bought 
eighty acres of railroad land and there he established his home. Erecting 
a little shack on his homestead on the plain. Swan Eskelson faced the task 
of developing a home in the midst of rather unpromising conditions, but he 
weathered the hardships of the grasshopper years and the years of drought 
and flame and presently began to prosper. He early made a specialty, of 
stock raising, the free range at that time offering large opportunities for the 
successful prosecution of that business, and made a fortune. He later 
bought another quarter section in Clay township and became one of the 
county's most substantial farmers. His wife died on June 29, 1897, and in 
1900 Mr. Eskelson sold most of his land and moved to Hutchinson, where 
he built a home and prepared to spend the balance of his days in the city, 
but conditions in the pent-up environment were not to his liking and he 
returned to the farm, built a new house near that of his daughter, Mrs. 
Hannah Strandberg, who now owns the old home place, and there regained 
the freedom of spirit he could not feel in the city. 

On January 15, 1916, Mr. Eskelson suffered an attack of heart disease 
while entering an interurban railway car in front of the Baldwin hotel in 
Hutchinson to return to his home near Kent station and before medical 
assistance could be secured was dead. Mr. Eskelson for many years had 
been regarded as one of the leaders of the considerable Swedish colony in 
this county and his sudden death was widely mourned by his many friends. 
He was an ardent Republican and had served his home township in the 
capacity of trustee and as treasurer. He and his wife were earnest mem- 
bers of the Swedish Lutheran church at Hutchinson and their children were 
reared in that faith. There were six of these children, namely: The late 
John Eskelson, who at the tifne of his death was the owner of eighteen hun- 
dred acres of land in Clay township, his widow now l^eing the largest land- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 57 

owner in Clay township; Peter, born on October 28, 1848, a well-known 
retired farmer living on his fine farm in Clay township ; Christine, who mar- 
ried AUman Peterson, a Clay township farmer, both now deceased; Mollie, 
wife of Jacob C. Hartshorn, of Los Angeles, California; Lena, wife of 
James Freese, of Hutchinson, and Hannah, wife of Peter Strandberg, a well- 
known farmer of Clay township, living on the old Eskelson homestead. 



ANDREW JACKSON HUCKLEBERRY, JR. 

Andrew Jackson Huckleberry, Jr., one of Reno county's best-known 
young practical farmers and an extensive buyer of horses and mules, whose 
operations extend all over the plains and mountain states, is a native of 
Texas, having been born in the town of San Angelo, in Tom Green county, 
that state, on December 28, 1884, son of Andrew Jackson and Lilly (Hum- 
phrey) Huckleberry, pioneers of this county, who were temporarily residing 
^ Texas at that time, the former of whom is still living in this county, at 
^^ age of seventy-eight, and the latter, born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 
^^52, died in 1903. 

The senior Andrew J. Huckleberry, who is a remarkably well-preserved 

old gentleman and who is still living on his fine place in Salt Creek town- 

^"^P* which has been his home since 1872, the year after the first permanent 

^^ttlement in Reno county, is one of the most interesting figures hereabout, 

^ ^'^teran of the Civil War, a gentleman of much learning and wide infor- 

^tion, widely traveled, courtly in his ways, after the manner of the old 

*^ool^ and a most engaging conversationalist. He is a Hoosier by birth, 

- ^*^g been born in Clark county, Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio river. 

j^^ i^^ceived an excellent education and as a young man was engaged as 

p^olcVceeper on one of the fast packets then plying the waters of the Ohio, 

. ^'^ "being promoted to the position of shipping clerk. When the Civil War 

^*^^ out he enlisted in the Fourth Indiana Cavalry and served for four 

j ^^^, participating in all the notable engagements taken part in by that gal- 

^ ^ x-egiment, including the battles of Chattanooga and Murfreesboro, and 

^^lied with Sherman to the sea. 

^t the close of the war, Mr. Huckleberry settled in Saline county, Mis- 

- ^i, where he shortlv afterward married Lilly Humphrev, a Kentuckv 

^ then living there, and successfully engaged in business. In the spring 

^ 872, attracted by the promising possibilities presented in this part of 



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158 RElSrO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



Kansas, he came to Reno county, the first permanent settlement having been 
made here the year before, and homesteaded a quarter of section 20, town- 
i || ship 2^, range 7 west, in Salt Creek township, and there made his permanent 

home. To this tract he later added, by purchase, an adjoining quarter sec- 
tion, and on this well-kept and admirably-improved old home place he is 
now si>ending in quiet comfort the pleasant '*sunset time*' of his life. Mr. 
Huckleberry was among the very first settlers of Salt Creek township. He 
came to Reno county with about fourteen hundred dollars in mdney and 
among his other possessions, most precious in the pioneer community, were 
three head of mules, a team of horses and a new wagon, he having been the 
first man in the township to own a team of horses or mules. One of the 
other settlers was the proud possessor of one horse and one ox, which he 
used effectively in team work. The early settlers were glad to bargain with 
Mr. Huckleberry for work on his place, taking in pay therefor the use of 
his teams with which to haul buffalo bones to Hutchinson, at that time a 
flourishing market for these ''natural products of the soil." As a pioneer, 
Mr. Huckleberry passed through all the hardships of the grasshopper plague 
and the later plagues of flame and drought and his vivid recollections of that 
period form an inexhaustible and accurate source of information regarding 
that unhappy chapter in the history of Reno county. In the early eighties 
Mr. and Mrs. Huckleberry left this county, the state of Mrs. Huckleberry's 
health at that time seeming to require a change of climate, and for fifteen 
years were in residence elsewhere, first living in Texas, then in Arkansas 
and then in New Mexico. Though ever regarding his homestead place in 
Salt Creek township as his permanent home and being pleasantly situated 
there in the household of his son, who for some time has been the practical 
manager of the place, Mr. Huckleberry has spent much of his time in travel 
and is thus a man of wide and general information. He is a member of the 
Methodist church at Partridge and ever has displayed a proper interest in 
good w^orks hereabout. He is a Republican and while giving a good citizen's 
attention to the political affairs of the county, never has been a candidate 
for public office. Besides his son, the junior A. J. Huckleberry, Mr. Huckle- 
berry has a daughter, Ada, who married William C. Layman and lives on a 
farm south of Arlington, this county. 

A. J. Huckleberry, Jr., was but a small boy when his parents returned 
to Reno county to make their definite home. During the period of his school 
days his parents moved to Hutchinson in order that he might live there and 
receive the benefits of the city schools. Upon completing the common- 
school course, he attended the State Agricultural College at Manhattan. In 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 59 

1903 he married and for some years past has been in active charge of the 
old home farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Salt Creek township, 
where he makes his home. Most of his time, however, is spent in buying 
horses, his operations in this line taking him all over the plains and moun- 
tain states, he being one of the most extensive dealers in horses and mules 
in Kansas. Upon the outbreak of armed hostilities in Europe in 1914, he 
contracted with the British, French and Italian governments to furnish ani- 
mals for war purposes and has shipped since then more than two thousand 
horses and mules. 

On May 9, 1903, A. J. Huckleberry, Jr., was united in marriage to 
Maud Gregg, who was born in Worth county, Missouri, daughter of the 
late William M. Gree;g and wife. Mrs. Huckleberry's mother is a resident 
of this county, her home being in Enterprise township. 



GEORGE TURBUSH. 



George Turbush, one of the leading factors in the mercantile and bank- 
ing circles of Nickerson, Reno county, Kansas, has for many years been 
identified with the progressive element of this section. His birth is recorded 
as having taken place on June 22, 1845, ^^ Albany, New York, where he 
was reared. For nearly four years prior to his removal to this part of the 
country, he was engaged with the Clinton Wire Company, of Clinton, Mas- 
sachusetts. Terminating his connections with this concern, he removed to 
this county, where he arrived in January, 1874. 

Just the year previous to the last named date, George Turbush was 
united in marriage to Helen A. Haskins, a native of New York state, and to 
their union were born these children : Elmer E. and Ernest F., both born 
in this state. Elmer E. was married to Anna Foley, and is living in Denver, 
Colorado, while Ernest married Nellie Shears and resides in Nickerson, 
Kansas. The wedding of George Turbush and Helen Haskins was solemn- 
ized in January, 1873. Soon after his marriage, George Turbush became 
the owner of a soldier's homestead, consisting of one hundred and sixty 
acres, which he sold in 1883. He then entered the hardware business in 
Hutchinson, Kansas, and continued in that place and enterprise for a period 
of ten years. Some three years prior to the termination of his business con- 
nections in Hutchinson, Kansas, he had engaged in the same business in 
Nickerson, Kansas, to w^hich place he finally removed. While in Hutchin- 



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1 60 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

son, Kansas, he was the president and manager of the Hutchinson Hard- 
ware Company. For ten years he served his community as its mayor and 
has also been a director of the Nickerson State Bank, of which institution 
he was also one of the incorporators. 

Greorge Turbush enlisted for service in the Civil War in December, 
1863,. in the Eighth Regiment, of the Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and 
served until the close of the war under General Sheridan. He is now a 
member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He is also a member of the 
Free and Accepted Masons, belonging to the chapter and commandery. In 
his reHgious affiliations he is connected with the Congregational church. 



GEORGE R. BOWSER. 



The late George R. Bowser, who, at the time of his death, in 190 1, was 
regarded as one of the largest landowners and most substantial and success- 
ful farmers of Lincoln township, this county, was a native of Pennsylvania, 
having been born in Armstrong county, that state, July 18, 1837, son of John 
and Julia Ann (Burnham) Bowser, both natives of the same county, farm- 
ing people of the sturdy sort, members of the Church of the Brethren, com- 
monly called Dunkards, frugal in their ways and earnest in all their doings. 

In 1854 John Bowser and his family and Jonathan Martin, a neighbor, 
and the latter's family, decided to push on out of Pennsylvania into the then 
West. The two families, disposing of their lands and all their belongings 
save such portables as they conveniently could pack into their wagons as a 
nucleus for the housekeeping that would be necessary in their new homes, 
drove out of Pennsylvania, through Ohio and through Indiana into Illinois, 
in which latter state they bought farms near each other in Schuyler county 
and established new homes in what was then practically pioneer country, and 
there John Bowser and his wife and Jonathan Martin and his wife spent 
their last days, having established comfortable homes in the midst of their 
broad acres in which their declining years were passed. 

When the long journey from Pennsylvania was made there were two 
youthful members of the party who, even then were sweethearts, George R. 
Bowser, then seventeen years of age, and Jane Martin, slightly the lad's 
junior. She, too, had been born in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, daugh- 
ter of Jonathan and Lydia (Sylvus) Martin, both also natives of Pennsyl- 
vania and farmers, who left their home a few miles north of Kittanning, 



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MR. AND MRS. GEORGE R. BOWSER. 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. l6l 

along the Allegheny river, together with the Bowsers, to make their home 
in Illinois, in which latter state they spent the rest of their lives, Mrs. Mar- 
tin, who was bom in 1820, dying in 1865; her husband, who was born in 
18 1 8, surviving until 1904. George R. Bowser and Jane Martin grew to 
maturity on their neighboring farms in Illinois and on March 11,' 1861, were 
married. After his marriage, George R. Bowser rented farm lands in Illi- 
nois and lived there as a tenant farmer until 1868, by which time rents had 
become so high that he and his wife decided to push on farther West, seeking 
cheaper land, packing their necessary belongings in a covered wagon they 
and the two or three small children by which their union then had been 
blessed, moved over into Missouri, where the family made a home on rented 
land for eight years, at the end of which time they came to Kansas, locating 
in Reno county, arriving in Hutchinson on May 2y, 1876. Mr. Bowser 
bought a farm on the "Sun City Trail*' in Reno township and there he and 
his family made their home for four years. He then traded that tract for the 
relinquishment of a timber claim in Lincoln township, the same being the 
northwest quarter of section 24, of that township, and there established a 
permanent home. Several years later, when it came time to "prove up*' hts 
claim, he found that through no fault of his own all the provisions of the law 
governing the entry of timber claims had not been rigidly followed out and 
that he had no title to the land which he had improved and on which he had 
established a home. However, the land officers permitted him then to home- 
stead the place and thus he got title to it, after all. 

When the Bowsers settled in this county they were very poor and had 
little but their willing hands and stout hearts to back them in the struggle 
which the pioneers of that period were compelled to undergo. The first few 
years, therefore, what with the bad seasons and the blighting winds, were 
discouraging, indeed, and it is not unlikely that if they had had funds suffi- 
cient to pay their passage out, they would have left the county, as so many 
others did during that time. But they "stuck it out,'' and in the end were 
greatly rewarded, for at the time of his death, on May 25, 1901, George R. 
Bowser was the owner of eleven hundred and eighty acres of fine land in this 
county and was besides independently rich in money, all made on the land 
and in the cattle and the hogs that he sent to market during the many active 
years of his life. Mr. Bowser was a Democrat and took a good citizen's 
part in the political life of his community, at one time serving the township 
as assessor. He and his wife were active members of the Harmony Baptist 
church in Lincoln township and did well their part in promoting proper con- 

(iia) 



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1 62 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

ditions of living during the early days when that community was being 
organized. 

After the death of Mr. Bowser, his widow managed the farm for a few 
years, ever having been a strong, capable woman and an admirable manager, 
and during that time bought and paid for two farms, thus adding more to 
the family's already extensive landed wealth. She then decided to divide 
the estate among her seven children and each one received eleven thousand 
eight hundred dollars, or its equivalent in land, and Mrs. Bowser, still has a 
large annual cash income from the investments made with the remainder. 
Mrs. Bowser still makes her home on the old home place, which now is 
owned by her youngest son, Arthur, who is unmarried and also makes his 
home there. There were seven children bom to Geoi^e R. and Jane (Mar- 
tin) Bowser, as follow: Lemon, a well-to-do farmer, living near Darlow, 
in this county; Curtis, who lives on a three-hundred-and-twenty-acre farm 
on the Ninesca river in this county ; Nettie, who married Louis B. Werkeiser, 
a big sugar-beet farmer near Greeley, Colorado; Frank, who lives in Ne- 
braska : George, who lives on a farm adjoining the old home place in Lincoln 
township; Arthur, who lives with his mother on the old home place, and 
Daisy, who married Clarence Hamilton and ako lives on a farm in Lincoln 
township. The Bowser family is very properly regarded as one of the most 
substantial families in that part of the county and all the members of the 
same are held in high regard by their many friends thereabout. 



LEMON BOWSER. 



Lemon Bowser, a well-to-do and progressive farmer of Lincoln town- 
ship, this county, and one of the best-known men in the Darlow neighbor- 
hood, is a native of Illinois, having been lx)rn on a farm in Schuyler county, 
that state, March 6, 1862, eldest of the seven children born to George R. 
and Jane (Martin) Bowser, both natives of Pennsylvania, who moved from 
that state with their respective parents to Illinois, where they were married, 
later moving to Missouri, whence they came to Kansas, locating in Reno 
county in 1876, becoming well known among the early pioneers of Lincoln 
township and large landowners, George R. Bowser having been, at the time 
of his death, in 1901, the owner of eleven hundred and eighty acres of fine 
land in this county. His widow is still living on the old homestead in Lin- 
coln township, where she enjoys many evidences of the respect and esteem 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS, 163 

of that entire neighborhood. In a memorial sketch relating to the late 
George R, Bowser, presented elsewhere in this volume, there is set out a 
full history of this interesting pioneer family, to which the reader is respect- 
fully referred in this connection. 

Lemon Bowser was about six years of age when his parents moved 
from Illinois to Harrison county, Missouri, and in the latter place he 
received what meager schooling he was able to get in his youth, but as he 
was the eldest child and his parents at that time were not in affluent circum- 
stances by any means, he was kept busy on the farm assisting hi§ father 
even from a very early age and his attendance at school was quite limited. 
He was fourteen years old when the family came to Kansas and settled in 
this county, having driven through in two covered wagons, driving seven 
head of cattle, and after that he had even less opportunity for schooling, for 
the manifold tasks of developing the pioneer farm on the old "Sun City 
Trail" required all the assistance he could give his father. In 1881 the 
family moved to what became the Bowser homestead in Lincoln township 
and there Lemon Bowser lived until his marriage, in 1888, working diH- 
gently in his parents' behalf, a large factor in getting" them well started on 
the road which led to their eventual wealth. After his marriage, Lemon 
Bowser for a few years rented land in Lincoln township and in 1892 bought 
the northeast quarter of section 22, in that same township, the farm on 
which he ever since has made his home, and straightway began to improve 
the same and has since added to this quarter an eighty adjoining, it not being 
long until he had one of the best-developed places in that section, and in the 
Elmer neighborhood he has an eighty-acre tract. In 1501 he erected his 
present comfortable and commodious farm house, iand the other buildings 
of the farm are in keeping with the same. In addition to his general farm- 
ing, Mr. Bowser is also largely interested in the raising of purebred Perche- 
ron horses, his colts of that strain being in wide demand throughout that 
section. He also is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of pasture 
land in Minnescah township, which he inherited from his father, and is 
accounted one of the substantial men of his neighborhood. In other affairs 
he has displayed a good citizen's activity and is now president of the Darlow 
Telephone Company, previous to his elevation to the head of that concern 
having been treasurer of the company. Mr. Bowser is an ardent Socialist 
in his political views and is one of the most vigorous advocates of the prin- 
ciples of that party in this county. 

On August 22y 1888, T^mon Bowser was united in marriage to Martha 
E. Tharp, who was born in West Virginia, daughter of John and Mary 



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164 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Jane Tharp, for years well-known pioneer residents of Reno county, who 
moved to Oklahoma in 1900, where Mrs. Tharp died in 191 5 and where 
Mr. Tharp still makes his home, and to this union two children have been 
born, Grover, born in 1889, ^ho married Minnie Klein and lives on a farm 
in the Elmer neighborhood in this county, and Earl, born in 1892, who 
lives at home with his parents. The Bowsers have many warm friends in 
Lincoln township and throughout the county and are held in high regard 
by all. 



GEORGE B. SHORT. 



George B. Short, a well-known and progressive young farmer of Salt 
Creek township, this county, is a native son of Reno county, having been 
born on a farm in Salt Creek townhsip, not far from his present place of 
residence, October 6, 1887, son of George M. and Mary (Crook) Short, 
both natives of Greene county, Illinois, where they grew up and where 
they were married, the former of whom, born in 1858, died on February 11, 
191 1, and the latter, born on March 6, 1863, *s still Hving, making her home 
with her children. 

In 1884, not long after their marriage, George M. Short and his \v\ie 
left Illinois and came to Kansas, settling in Reno county and buying an 
unimproved tract in Salt Creek township. Mr. Short improved that place, 
erecting substantial buildings on the same and brought the farm to an excel- 
lent state of cultivation and there the family made their home until 1899, 
in which year he sold the farm and bought the southwest quarter of section 
34, in the same township, the old T. B. Hand farm, one of the first tracts 
brought under cultivation in Salt Creek township in pioneer days. Two 
years later Mr. Short bought the "eighty'' adjoining on the south, across 
the line in Center township, and on the new place he spent the rest of his 
life, except the last year, when he lived in Partridge, being accounted one of 
the most substantial farmers in the neighborhood, in addition to his general 
farming being also an extensive feeder of live stock, making a specialty of 
the raising of purebred Poland China hogs. Mr. Short was a Democrat and 
took an active part in local politics, having l^een an office-holder in Salt 
Creek township during nearly all of the time of his residence there, serving 
the township variously in the several capacities of trustee, clerk and in other 
ways. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and 
of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the affairs of both of which orders 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. 1 65 

he took a warm interest, and during their residence in Illinois he and his 
wife were members of the United Brethren church. They were the parents 
of four children, namely: Howard C, who lives on a farm near Bluffton, 
Arkansas; George B., the immediate subject of this biographical sketch; 
Mayo W., unmarried, w^ho lives at Newton, this state, and Mrs. Annabelle 
WTiite, who lives on a farm in Center township, this county. 

Following his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of 
his home, George B. Short attended the county high school at Nickerson 
for four years and worked on his father's farm until his marriage, in 1910, 
after which, for three years, he was engaged in the transfer business at 
Partridge. Upon the death of his father, in 191 1, he was made administra- 
tor of the latter 's estate and in 19 14 m.oved onto the home farm and has 
ever since made his home there, doing well with his agricultural operations. 
Mr. Short is a Democrat and during his residence in Partridge rendered 
excellent public service as a member of the city council. 

In February, 19 10, George B. Short was united in marriage to Sylvia 
W. Hand, who was born on the pioneer homestead oft which she now lives, 
daughter of T. B. Hand and wife, pioneers of Salt Creek township, the 
former of whom is now deceased and the latter living in California, and to 
this union one child has been born, a daughter, Beatrice, born on December 
25, 19 10. Mr. and Mrs. Short take an active interest in the general social 
affairs of their neighborhood and are held in high esteem by their many 
friends throughout that neighborhood. Mr. Short is a memlDer of the Odd 
Fellows lodge at Partridge and takes an active interest in the affairs of that 
popular order. 



GEORGE WASHINGTON MOURN. 

George Washington Mourn, one of the best-known pioneer farmers of 
Reno county, proprietor of a fine farm in Valley township and for many 
years one of the leaders in the community life of that neighborhood, is a 
Virginian, having been born in Monroe county, that state (now in West 
Virginia), February 2y, 1841. son of Hoke and Jane Mourn, both natives 
of that same state, the former of whom was killed by a fall from a hay loft 
in 1859. Hoke Mourn and wife were the parents of four children, three 
sons and one daughter, the latter of whom is dead, the subject of this 
sketch having two brothers, James and Edward. The Widow Mourn mar- 



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l66 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

ried, secondly, Herbert Shorthold, and died in McLean county, Illinois, in 
1878, 

George W. Mourn attended school during his boyhood in a log school 
house five miles from his home, walking that distance twice each day dur- 
ing the school terms. He was reared to detest the slave-holding system and 
when the Civil War broke out his sympathies were with the cause of the 
Union. Despite his violent opposition to secession, however, he was forced 
into the service of the Confederate army by conscription, but presently man- 
aged to desert and took service with the cause of the North as fireman on 
the government steamboat "Victor 2," continuing such service on the Ohio 
and Big Kanawha rivers for three years. He had married in 1861 and in 
the fall of 1865 returned to West Virginia and began working as a carpen- 
ter for his brothers-in-law, Henry O. and William M. Smith, the latter of 
whom afterward became a contracting carpenter in Hutchinson, this county. 
In 1868 George W. Mourn and family and one of Mrs. Mourn's brothers 
started West with a three-horse team and wagon. Upon reaching Missouri 
the brother became ill and the party stopped in Boone county, that state, 
where they remained three years, at the end of which time, in November, 
I 1871, Mr. Mourn and his family came to Kansas, locating in Reno county, 

\ ^ thus becoming among the very earliest settlers of this county. Mr.. Mourn 

homesteaded eighty acres and a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres 
in section 32. Valley township, and there established his home. He built a 
shanty of box boards and settled down to the strenuous task of developing 
his claim. In the spring of 1872 he **broke'* ten acres and got in a bit of 
corn. That same year he worked with the construction crew of the Santa 
Fe Railroad Company and thus made a little ready cash. Buffaloes at that 
time were still plentiful on the plains and the family had no difficulty in 
obtaining fresh meat, but other supplies were not so easily obtained, Newton, 
the nearest market and postoffice, being twenty-five miles away; while Mr. 
Mourn had to drive eighty miles to mill the first few years he lived in this 
county. When the grasshoppers came, in 1874, he saved his cabbage patch 
by keeping wet grass fires about the patch for two weeks. 

In 1876 Mr. Mourn sold his homestead "eighty" and moved to his 
timber claim, where he ever since has made his home. In addition to the 
dwelling he erected there he put up a blacksmith shop on the place and for 
twenty-five years worked at that trade, his sons looking after the farm. For 
a quarter of a century he also operated a sorghum mill, farmers for miles 
around bringing their cane to him to l)e converted into good Kansas sorg- 
hum. Since 1900 Mr. Mourn has kept thirty hives of hees and his apiary 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 67 

long has been his principal *'hobby;" that and indulging in reminiscences of 
pioneer days, for there are few of the surviving pioneers of Reno county^ 
whose retniniscences of the early days are more varied or more interesting 
than those of Mr. Mourn. He served on the first jury ever impanelled in 
Reno county. He is a Republican and for two years served as treasurer of 
Valley township, also having served as a member of the first school board 
in his township. 

On September 8, 1861, George W. Mourn was united in marriage to 
Mary Frances Smith, who was born within two miles of her husband's 
birthplace, February 25, 1842, daughter of JosejA and Susan Smith, both 
of whom died in West Virginia. To this union eleven children were born, 
namely: Ida May, who married W. E. Woodward and lives in Clay town- 
ship, this county; Viola, who married Frank D. Barnes and lives in Valley 
township; (jeo.rge, engineer at the strawboard works at Hutchinson; Mary 
Elizabeth, who married William T. Gregory and died on April 19, 1904; 
Luella, who married George Hoskinson and lives in Valley township; Will- 
iam H., who lives in Clay township; Rosa, born on November 22, 1872, 
who died on December 6, 1872; Effie A., who married Wesley Jackson and 
lives on a farm near Burdette, this state; Lillie, who married Charles Hos- 
kinson and lives in Valley township; Bertha, who married Samuel Imel and 
lives in Valley township, and Mertie, who married a Mr. Triplett, and mar- 
ried, secondly, Delva Butler, who is farming the old Mourn home farm. 
Mr. and Mrs. Mourn also adopted a child, Sadie May, who married Giles 
Day and lives in Burrton. Mrs. George W. Mourn died on November 22, 
191 2, and was buried in Burrton cemetery, Harvey county, Kansas. 



GARRETT SALLEE. 



Garrett Sallee, a well-known farmer of Grant township, this county, is 
a native of the great Blue Grass state, having been born in Mercer county, 
Kentucky, September 27, 1868, son of A. J. and Margaret (Yast) Sallee, both 
natives of that same county, the former of whom was born on September 8, 
1848, and the latter, September 16, 1848, she having been the daughter of 
Jacob Yast, a Kentucky farmer and a soldier on the Union side during the 
Civil War. Margaret (Yast) Sallee died in 1871, leaving three children, John 
Garrett and William. A. J. Sallee then married, secondly, Lucy Divine, 
and to this second union nine children were born, Mary Ann, James H., 



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11 



i68 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



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Levi, George, Grundy, Luther, Nancy, Martha and Richard. In 1888, he 
then being forty years of age, A. J. Sallee disposed of his interests in Ken- 
tucky and came to Kansas locating in Reno county. He bought four hun- 
dred and twenty acres in Valley township and there established his home, 
remaining there until 1903, ifi which year he moved to Oklahoma, tought 
a half section of land in Alpha county, that state, and there has made bis 
home ever since. 

Garrett Sallee was about twenty years old when he accompanied his 
father to this county from the old home in Kentucky in 1888, and he has 
Hved here ever since. The year after arriving here he married Lydia Hale, 
who also was born in Mercer county, Kentucky, and who had cunie to Reno 
county with her parents, Elijah Hale and wife, in 1887. He then began 
farming on his own account and has prospered in his undertakings until 
now he is the owner of eight hundred and forty acres in this county and in 
the adjoining county of Rice. In May, 1896, he moved to the fine farm 
on which he is now living, in Grant township, and there he and his family 
are very pleasantly and comfortably situated. He is active in tow^nship 
affairs and is looked upon as one of the most substantial and influential 
farmers in that neighborhood. In addition to his extensive operations in 
the way of general farming, Mr. Sallee devotes considerable attention to the 
raising of fine cattle and his Herefords command the top of the market. 

To Garrett and Lydia (Hale) Sallee two children have been born, 
daughters both. Bertha V., born on November 11, 1889, and Flora Myrtle, 
August 27, 1897. Mr- ^"^ M'*s- Sallee are members of the Christian 
church at Xickerson and Mr. Sallee is a member of the Modern Woodmen 
of America. 



ALBERT LEE SWARENS. 

Albert Lee Sw^arens. one of Reno county's best-known farmers, who 
lives with his stepmother, Mrs. Lewis Swarens, on a fine farm adjoining the 
city of Hutchinson on the northwest, is one of the original pioneers of this 
county, as is Mrs. Swarens, there having been but two other families living 
within miles of them when they arrived at the point at which they still reside, 
in the year 1871, the town of Hutchinson not then even having been staked 
out. They conse(|uently have witnessed the whole of the wonderful develop- 
ment of this section of the state and may be accepted as authorities upon all 
(|uestions relating to the history of Reno county and particularly of the 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. 1 69 

neighborhood about Hutchinson, in which they have Hved from the time of 
the beginning of a social order hereabout; doing well their respective parts 
in the development of the community which is so dear to both of them. 
Mrs. Lewis Swarens is a woman of the true pioneer type and during all the 
years she has lived in this county has done her whole duty as a neighbor and 
a friend to all. In her gentle heart there never has been room for mistrust, 
it ever having been her rule to believe only the best things regarding her 
neighbors, and throughout her long life in this community she ever has 
borne the profoundest respect and esteem of all. 

Albert L. Swarens was born in Woodford county, Illinois, October 25, 
185 1, son of Lewis and Mary Ann (Watkins) Swarens, the former of whom 
was born in the town of New Albany, Indiana, on October 5, 1822, and the 
latter in Illinois. Lewis Swarens left the old Ohio river town. New Albany, 
when a boy and with his parents moved to Woodford county, Illinois, where 
he grew to manhood and where he was married in 1845. ^^ 1856 he moved 
with his family to Hardin county, Iowa, where he bought two hundred and 
forty acres, and there he made his home until 1862, in which year he was 
seized with the "California fever,'' and, in company with several other famil- 
ies, the train comprising thirty-two wagons and one buggy, started on the 
long overland journey to the land of golden promises. En route the party 
had several fights with hostile Indians and the redskins stole all their cattle. 
Upon his arrival in California, Lewis Swarens encountered only disappoint- 
ments. In the winter of 1863 his wife died, at the age of thirty-five years, 
and shortly thereafter his eldest daughter, Evaline, died, both being buried in 
Calaveras county. His eldest son, Frank, joined the army and he did not 
see him again for years. With two small children on his hands amid new 
and untried conditions, Mr. Swarens decided to make his way back to the 
old home in Illinois. He and the two children, Albert L., then about twelve 
of age, and the little sister, Laura, boarded a vessel at San Francisco and by 
way of Panama, presently arrived at an Eastern port, whence they returned 
to Woodford county, Illinois, where the children were left with relatives, 
after which Mr. Swarens again started West. For some time he tried his 
fortunes in the mining region about Ogden, Utah, and later in Oregon, but 
without success. In North Ogden he met Sylvesta Rice, who had located 
there with her parents in 1862, and on December 25, 1865, they were married. 
Sylvesta Rice was born at No. i. Park cottages, New Park road, Brix- 
ton Hill, Surrey, near the city of London, in England, on September 28, 
1848, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Murrell) Rice, the former of whom 
was born in Sussex on November 3, 1824, and the latter in Kent, April 17, 



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170 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



1824, and who were married on November 22, 1847. ^^ ^^SS* James Rice 
and his family came to the United States, landing from the sailing vessel, 
''Emerald Isle," at the port of New York. For seven years the Rices made 
their home in New York, James Rice being engaged as an engineer in a 
factory there and in 1862 decided to migrate West. They made the trip 
across the plains in "prairie schooners," drawn by ox teams and located at 
North Ogden, where Mr. and Mrs. Rice became associated with the Mormon 
church, having previously been members of the Episcopalian church, having 
been reared as members of the established church in England. They were 
the parents of seven children, of whom Sylvesta, Mrs. Swarens, was the 
eldest. She, however, did not join the Mormon faith. 

Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Swarens remained in 
Utah, Mr. Swarens working at the carpenter trade until 1870, in which year 
they made a visit to friends in Cass county, Missouri, and from there went 
into the Cherokee strip in Indian Territory, where for a year Mr. Swarens 
was engaged as a contractor getting out railroad ties. In the spring of 1871 
his son, Albert Lee SwarenS, then grown to manhood, having rejoined him 
in Missouri, Mr. Swarens rigged out another "prairie schooner" and drove 
across country to Reno county, arriving at the site now occupied by the city 
of Hutchinson on June 17, 1871. At that time John Shehan and Mr. Frazier 
were the only people living within miles of that spot. Lewis Swarens home- 
steaded the southwest quarter of section 22, township 23, range 6 west, and 
there he and his wife and family proceeded to make a new home, their first 
place of abode there being a mere "dugout," which three years later was sup- 
planted by a house. The Swarens were very poor upon starting their new 
home in this county, but they were industrious and with the true pioneer 
spirit made the best of the situation, eventually prospering, Lewis Swarens 
having been the owner of seven hundred and forty acres of choice land at 
the time of his death, on April 10, 1903. Since his death his widow and his 
son, Albert L., who is unmarried, have continued to make their home on the 
old homestead, where they have a fine farm of two hundred acres, besides 
being the owners of three quarter sections of excellent land in Medford 
township, this county. 

To Lewis and Sylvesta (Rice) Swarens one child was bom, a son, 
Lewis Leander, born on November 29, 1868, who died on June 17, 1889, 
his death having been due to a distressing accident. While breaking a wild 
bronco he was thrown so violently as to break his leg in such a manner as to 
require amputation and he died under the shock of the operation. Lewis 
Swarens's daughter, Laura, who was left motherless in the wilds of Cali-^ 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I7I 

/ornia and who was returned to relatives in Illinois after the long trip across 
tAe isthmus of Panama, married George Darnell and now lives at Sunny- 
sid^y California. 

Albert L. Swarens is a good farmer and keeps his place up in fine shape 
and Inis horses are of excellent stock. He is a Democrat, but is somewhat 
inci^p>endent in his political views, believing that the man and not the party 
shouild be the controlling factor in determining the voter's judgment at the 
polls. 



VINCENT PRIDDLE. 



Vincent Priddle, well-known farmer of Valley township, this county, 

and one of the most extensive landowners of Reno county, is a native of 

^^^^grland, having been born near the town of South Petherton, in Somer- 

setslnire, January i, 1862, son of Stephen and Charlotte (Pipe) Priddle, 

^titi natives of that same vicinity. Stephen Priddle was foreman of a brick 

yard. In 1868 he came to the United States and settled in Albany, New 

i^ork, in the vicinity of which city he rented a farm and there spent the 

remainder of his life, his death occurring in 1885, he then being sixty years 

of age. His widow died in 191 1, at the great age of ninety-two years. Her 

^^^» the subject of this sketch, paid her a visit at the old home in England 

J^st four months before she died. There were thirteen children born to 

^^Phen Priddle and wife, of whom Vincent Priddle was the eleventh in 

'"<Jer of birth. Twelve of these children grew to maturity. Three of Mr. 

'**^cile's sisters are living in England; four sisters in the United States; 

^ brother, Edgar, lives in Schenectady, New York, and one sister, Betsey. 

^^ married Samuel Collins, lives in Valley township, this county. 

X^incent Priddle never went to school a day in his life. As a boy he 

^^^^ed on a farm, for which service he received thirtv-six cents a week. 

' ^"^^n years after his father had come to America he followed. Previous 

^^^is some of the other children came over together, and worked on a farm 

*^He neighborhood of the point in New York state where his father had 

o^atred. It was in 1880 that Vincent Priddle came to this country, he then 

^^g" eighteen years of age, and in 1883 he came to Kansas, locating in 

^^v^ey county, where he worked on the Byle farm, south of Burrton, for 

. ^^t^een month>. at the end of which time, in 1885, he bought eighty acres 

^J^is county, the south half of the southwest quarter of section 16, in \^al- 

^y township. The place was wholly unimproved and he straightway set 



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1/2 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

about getting it under cultivation. He set out a fine grove and a splendid 
orchard and soon had one of the best-kept farms in the neighborhood. Mr. 
Priddle was a good farmer, energetic and industrious, and prospered from 
the very start of his operations. He went into cattle raising on a somewhat 
extensive scale and as he prospered added to his land holdings until now he 
is the owner of twelve hundred and seventy acres of fine land in Valley 
township. Three hundred acres of this land he rents out and manages the 
remainder himself. Since 1905 he has been one of the directors of the 
Farmers Grain Company at Haven and in other ways has taken an active 
part in the general business life of the community. Mr. Priddle is an earnest 
member of the United Brethren church, of which he has been a trustee for 
thirty years; in which he also has been a class leader and the Sunday school 
of which church he is now superintendent. 

In March, 1883, Vincent Priddle was united in marriage to Mary Fol- 
let, to which union eight children have been born, as follow: Charles, a 
minister of the United Brethren church at Pensacola, this state; Anna, w-ho 
married E. E. Barrett and lives near Dodge City; I^o, who is a valuable 
assistant to his father in the work of managing the big farm, and Hazel 
and Edgar, also at home, and three who died in childhood. Mr. Priddle is a 
prominent Mason, a member of the blue lodge of that order at Haven and 
of the consistory at Wichita. He also is a member of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen and in the affairs of both of these orders takes a warm 
interest. 



CHARLES SEEDLE. 



Charles Seedle, a well-known farmer of Reno county, owner of a half 
section of well-improved land in Valley township, where he has resided 
since 1884, is a native of Ohio, having been born in Greene county, that 
state, March 31, 1856, last born of the eleven children born to his parents, 
and the only one now surviving. His father, born in Pennsylvania, son of 
German parents, and who died when the subject of this sketch was a small 
boy, was a shoe-maker by trade. He married a widow, Mrs. Eliza (Mich- 
ael) Houser, also born in Pennsylvania, who was the mother, by her first 
marriage of two sons, Henry and John Houser, who came to Kansas in 
1884 and settled in Osage county. John Houser died in Ohio. 

Orphaned when he was a baby, Charles Seedle was cared for when a 
child in successive families, including those of the Haggard and Mack famil- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 73 

ies, and from the age of thirteen to twenty years in the family of William 
Ferguson. His early education was wholly neglected and at the age of four- 
teen he had not yet learned the alphabet. Reared on Greene county farms, 
he became an excellent farmer and when he was twenty years old began 
"working out'' on his own account, being thus engaged until the time of his 
marriage, at the age of twenty- four, when he rented a- farm in his native 
county and set up a home for himself, remaining there for four years, at 
the end of which time, in the spring of 1884, he came to Kansas on a home- 
seeking tour and bought one-half of the northwest quarter of section 17, in 
Valley township, this county, and early the next spring brought his family 
here, arriving on March i, 1885. On his farm was a two-room house, a 
small bam and a few trees. Upon taking possession he at once entered upon 
the task of improving his place and bringing it to a proper state of cultiva- 
tion* and as he prospered gradually added to his land holdings until now he 
is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of well-improved land sur- 
rounding his home, he having bought from time to time three ''eighties'' 
adjoining his home place. Though very poor when he started farming in 
Reno county, Mr. Seedles has done well and is regarded as one of the 
substantial residents of his community. He erected his present excellent 
farm house in 1900 and the other improvements on the farm are in keep- 
ing with the same. Mr. Seedles is ''independent" in his political views, 
believing in supporting the best men for public office, regardless of party 
affiliations. 

On December 25, 1879, Charles Seedles was united in marriage to 
Tabitha Sutton, who was born on March 5, 1861, in Clinton county, Ohio, 
daughter of Jeremiah and Mary Ann (Culbertson) Sutton, farming people, 
the former of whom died in Ohio in 1888, aged fifty- four years, and the 
latter in 1887, aged forty-eight. To this union four children have been 
bom, namely: Dora, who married the Rev. Charles Priddle, a United 
Brethren minister .stationed at Pensacola, in the neighboring county of 
Kingman, and they have three children, Harley, Clyde and Glenn; Jesse, 
who farms a part of his father's place in Valley township, married Jennie 
M. White, and they have two children, Jesse E. and Clyde M. ; Oscar, who 
owns a farm of his own in Valley township, married Golda Adkins, and 
they had two children, Ruth E. and Esther, who is deceased, and Walter Mel - 
v/n, who died when three years old. Mr. and Mrs. Seedles are earnest 
members of the United Brethren church at Pleasant Grove, of which Mr. 
Seedles has been a trustee for nearly thirty years, and are active in church 



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174 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

work. Mr. Seedles is a member of Haven Lodge No. 287, Ancient Order 
(jf United Workmen, and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that organi- 
zation. 



ARTHUR DADE. 



Arthur Dade, one of Hutchinson's most energetic and substantial busi- 
ness men, a cajpitalist whose interests and investments hereabout make him 
an important factor in commercial and realty circles in this county, is a 
native of Maryland, having been born in Montgomery county, that state, oh 
May 4, 1872, son of the late Alexander and Susan Ann (White) Dade, 
prominent pioneer residents of Reno county, who settled here in 1878, and 
has been a resident of Reno county since he was five years of age. In the 
biographical sketch relating to Arthur Dade's brother, Ernest Dade, pre- 
sented elsewhere in this volume, there is set out in detail a history of the 
Dade family, to which the reader is respectfully referred in this connection. 

As stated above, Arthur Dade was five years old when he canie to Reno 
county with his parents, who settled in Reno township, and he grew to man- 
hood on the paternal farm there. He received his elementary education in 
district school No. 65, supplementing the same by a course in the Hutchin- 
son high school, from which he was graduated with the class of 1892. For 
three years after leaving school he continued to assist his father in the opera- 
tion of the home farm and then rented a farm in Reno township, on which 
he commenced operations on his own account. Soon thereafter, however, 
he bought a farm in the Poplar district in Reno township, but presently sold 
that place and bought another farm near the railway station at Whiteside, in 
the same township, which he worked for a year. In 191 3 Mr. Dade bought 
two hundred and forty acres of the old William Fair section in Reno town- 
ship, which he still owns, having sold the farm near Whiteside. In 1909 
Mr. Dade moved to Hutchinson, for greater convenience in managing his 
growing interests and the next year erected a very pretty residence at 27 
Eleventh avenue, east, in which he and his family have since resided. He 
inherited some property from his father's estate and has been fortunate in 
his own investments, his entire time now being devoted to the management 
of his extensive interests, looking after his farms, his various bits of city 
property and other investments. In 19 13 Mr. Dade erected a business block 
at 411-413 North Main street, in the city of Hutchinson and also owns a 
business block at 11 South Main street and one across the street from the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 75 

same at 12 South Main street, which buildings are profitably occupied by 
retail stores, and offices. Mr. Dade also is a director in the Kelley Milling 
Company at Hutchinson. 

On January 2^, 1904, Arthur Dade was united in marriage to Jessie E. 
Myers,, who was born in Urbana, Illinois, daughter of John A. and Mary 
L. Myers, the former of whom is now living in Hutchinson, and a biography 
of whom is set out in another place in this volume. Mr. Myers is a former 
commissioner of Reno coimty and one of Hutchinson's most substantial 
citizens. To Mr. and Mrs. Dade two children have been born, John Travis, 
born on June 16, 1908, and Ernest Vincent, . November zy, 1912. Mr. 
Dade is a Democrat,, as was his father before him, and ever since arriving 
at years of maturity has given a good citizen's attention to local .political 
affairs, though never having been included in the office-seeking class. 



OSCAR W. OLMSTEAD. 

Oscar W. Olmstead, one of the best-known farmers of Grant township, 
this county, and a pioneer of that section, who is still living on the quarter 
section he pre-empted in 1872, is a native of Michigan, having been born on 
a farm in Oakland county, that state, March 26, 1849, son of D. D. and 
Janet (Reid) Olmstead, both natives of the state of New- York, the former 
of whom was born on March 16, 1823, and the latter, March 7, 1826, who 
became pioneers of Reno county and here spent their last days. 

D. D. Olmstead was the son of David D. and Anna Olmstead, both 
natives of New York state, both of whom spent all their lives in that state. 
He grew to manhood there, spent two years in Canada, and married Janet 
Reid, daughter of William Reid, a native of Scotland, who had come to 
America when a mere lad. After their marriage D. D. Olmstead and wife 
lived in Michigan, where in Oakland county they established their home 
on a farm, where they lived until 1872, in which year they came to Kansas 
and settled in Reno county, thus becoming among the very earliest settlers 
of this county. D. D. Olmstead pre-empted one quarter of s^tion 24, in 
Grant township, and there established his new home, both he and his wife 
spending the remainder of their lives there, his death occurring in August, 
1884. She died in August, 1878. He was a thirty-second degree Mason 
and he and his wife were members of the Methodist church, in which faith 
their children were reared. There were eight of these children, of whom 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



four are still living, Oscar, the second in order of birth, Josephine, Herman 
and Ida. Those deceased were William, a veteran of the Civil War, Susan, 
Charles, Samuel and Ellen. 

Oscar W. Olmstead was reared in Oakland county, Michigan, receiving 
his education in the school in the neighborhood of his home, and was about 
twenty-two years old when he came to Kansas with his parents. Upon 
arriving in Reno county in 1872, thus having been among the pioneers of 
this county, he pre-empted a quarter of a section of land in section 24, in 
Grant township, his present home, and proceeded to ''break'' and develop the 
same. On April 25, 1884, he married Essie Y. JefFers, who also was born 
in Michigan, her birthplace being in Oakland county, and who came to Kan- 
sas with her parents, Aaron and Sarah JefFers, in the fall of 1883, the 
family settling in this county, and he here established a home, but later 
moved to Indiana in 1890, where Mr. JefFers is still living and where Mrs. 
Jeffers died. 

To Oscar W. and Essie J. (Jeffers) Olmstead six children have been 
born, James, Bertha, Leo, Victor, Leona and Hazel. Miss Bertha Olm- 
stead is a teacher in the public schools of Rice county, this state. The Olm- 
steads are members of the Christian church. Mr. Olmstead is a substan- 
tial farmer and his well-kept place shows evidences of his careful manage- 
ment. 



STEPHEN S. LEIGHTY. 

Stephen S. Leighty, a well-to-do and well-known retired farmer of Lin- 
coln township, this county, now living in a pleasant home at 100 Eleventh 
avenue, east, in the city of Hutchinson, to which place he moved in the fall 
of 191 1, he then having retired from the active labors of the farm, is a 
native of the great Keystone state, having been bom on aiann in Fayette 
county, Pennsylvania, February 20, 1853, son of Stephen S. and Eliza (Hut- 
son) Leighty, the former of whom was born on that same farm and the 
latter of whom was a native of the state of Maryland. 

The senior Stephen S. Leighty grew to manhood on the farm on which 
he was born and upon the death of his parents bought the interests of the 
other heirs in the place and there spent all his days. He married Eliza Hut- 
son, who died in 1863, leaving nine children, as follow: William, a veteran 
of the Civil War, who now lives in Stafford countv, this state; Henry, a 
farmer, living in McDonough county, Illinois; Catherine, who married Mil- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 77 

ton Blair and lives on a farm near the town of Prairie, in Oklahoma; Zach- 
ariah Taylor, a farmer of Fayette county, Pennsylvania; Rebecca, who mar- 
ried Joseph Piersol and also lives in Fayette county, Pennsylvania; Anna S., 
who lives in Stafford county, this state, widow of Robert Rankin; Stephen 
S., the immediate subject of this biographical sketch; Eliza J., who married 
Dempsey Woodward and lives in Ohio, and Agnes, who married George 
Cox and lives in Woodson county, this state. Upon the death of the mother 
of the above children, the elder Stephen S. Leighty married, secondly, Mary 
Hare, also now deceased, and to this second union three children were born, 
Emma, who married Chester Gwinn and lives at Uniontown, Pennsylvania; 
Grant, who lives on the old home place in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and 
John, who lives in Washington, same state. 

Stephen S. Leighty, Jr., was reared on the home farm in Fayette county, 
Pennsylvania, receiving his education in the district school in the neighbor- 
hood of his home. He was ten years old when his mother died. He con- 
tinued living at the old home until his marriage at the age of nineteen, after 
which his father bought a farm adjoining the home place and put him in 
charge of the same and he there made his home until 1882, in which year he 
came to Kansas, locating in this county, where he bought a quarter of a sec- 
tion of school land in Lincoln township, the same being in section 36 of that 
township, and there established his new home. Mr. Leighty was successful 
in his farming operations from the very beginning of his residence in this 
county and when he retired from the farm in September, 191 1, and moved 
to Hutchinson, he was accounted to be very well-to-do. For his original 
quarter section in Lincoln township Mr. Leighty paid fourteen hundred dol- 
lars into the school fund. For that identical quarter section he since has 
refused an offer of sixteen thousand dollars. As he became established on 
his place, Mr. Leighty gradually increased his land holdings until he became 
the owner of four hundred and sixty acres of fine land in Lincoln and Yoder 
townships, which he still owns. In 1897 he erected a fine, modern farm- 
house on his place, which is considered to be one of the best-improved farms 
in that section of the county. 

In addition to looking after his extensive agricultural interests Mr. 
Leighty found time to give his attention to various other enterprises in the 
neighborhood and for years was considered one of the most active and enter- 
prising citizens of Lincoln township. He helloed organize the Darlow Live 
Stock and Grain Exchange and was the first president of that useful organ- 
ization. He also helped to organize the Darlow Telephone Company and 
(12a) 



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178 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

for years was a director of the same, doing much to promote the extension 
of the telephone service in that part of the county. In civic affairs also he 
took an active interest and for eight years served as township treasurer, while 
for twenty years he served as a valued member of the school board. Mr. 
I^ighty was a Republican when he came to Kansas, but he went over to the 
cause of the Populists and when that cause declined and ceased to be, he 
became a Democrat and is still affiliated with that party. He and his wife 
are members of the Congregational church at Hutchinson and he is a mem- 
ber of the board of trustees of that organization. 

On November 13, 1872, Stephen S. Leighty was united in marriage to 
Nancy J. Harper, who was bom in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, daughter 
of Samuel and Sarah Anna (Wadsworth) Harper, and to this union six chil- 
dren have been born, namely: Harper, a farmer of Yoder township, this 
county; William G., who is farming part of his father's place in Yoder 
township; Stephen S., HI, who owns a farm in Ford county, this state, 
where he makes his home; Clyde W., who also owns a farm in Ford county, 
where he makes his home; Sabina E., who is attending college at Winfield, 
and Alice, who married George Getter and died at the age of twenty-three. 
Mr. and Mrs. Leighty have adopted Alice Margaret Leighty, the daughter of 
Harper, the eldest son. 



ALBERT E. HARDEN. 



Albert E. Harden, a well-known and progressive farmer of Grant 
township, this county, is a native of Iowa, having been -born on a farm in 
Van Buren county, that state, April i, 1865, son of Levi and Elvira (Brad- 
ford) Harden, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Rhode Island, 
who were married in Iowa and Mr. Harden later came to Kansas, being 
numbered among the pioneers of Reno county. 

Levi Harden was born in Hocking county, Ohio, January 19, 1834, son 
of Even and Maria (Wolf) Harden, both natives of that state, the former 
of whom was born on April 13, 1803, and the latter, October 2, 1814, who 
later moved to Iowa, where his last days were spent, Even Harden dying at 
the age of fifty-six years. He and his wife were the parents of eight chil- 
dren, of whom Levi was the eldest, the others being as follow: Jacob, 
lx)rn on April 26, 1836, now deceased; John, June 13, 1838, deceased; Will- 
iam, June 23, 1840; Eliza, May 6, 1843; Isabelle, April 14, 1846; George, 
February 12, 1849; Martha, October 20, 1852, and Philip, March 3, 1856, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 79 

deceased. Levi Harden was well grown when his parents moved to Iowa. 
On December 31, 1863, in that state, he was united in marriage to Elvira 
Bradford, who was born near Providence, Rhode Island, July 3, 1840, 
daughter of Albert Bradford and wife, the latter of whom was a Phillips, 
and who were the parents of three sons and four daughters: Mrs. Marie 
Corbett, of Texas; Miss Evelyn; Mrs. Laura Sandheim, of Seattle; Mrs. 
Elvira Harden ; Alonzo, a veteran of the Civil War, now living at Hayward, 
California; Leander, also a veteran of the Civil War, lives in Bonaparte, 
Iowa, and Walter, also of Bonaparte, Iowa. All^ert Bradford was a direct 
descendant of Governor Bradford of Colonial fame. He moved from 
Rhode Island with his family to Iowa and there spent the remainder of his 
life, a resident of \'an" Buren county. To Levi and Elvira (Bradford) 
Harden but one child was lx)rn, the subject of this sketch, whose mother 
died on July 31, 1867. Levi Harden married, secondly, Mrs. Fannie 
(Berry) Doughty, widow of J. Doughty, who was the mother, by ^ler first 
marriage, of two children. Homer G. and Mary Virginia. To this second 
union three children were born, Sophia, born on October 16, 1872, who died 
at the age of sixteen; Lamiel J., May 24, 1874, and Dora, December. 26, 
1876, who now lives in Oklahoma. On March 17, 1877, Levi Harden 
came to Kansas and settled in Reno county, where he bought a quarter of a 
section of land on which he lived until his retirement from the farm. He 
is now making his home with a daughter in Oklahoma. He is a member of 
the Evangelical church and is a Mason. 

Albert E. Harden was about twelve years old when he came to this 
county with his father and he grew to manhood on the home farm. On 
February 26, 1890, he married Mattie Moorman, who was l)orn at Sandy- 
ville, Iowa, January 5, 1869, and located on the farm on which they are now 
living in Grant township, this county. In 191 1 Mr. Harden erected his 
present modern farm house and he and his family are very pleasantly situ- 
ated. The house is equipped with electric lights and many of the con- 
veniences of modern life. Mr. Harden is a progressive farmer and is doing 
well on his well-kept place of two hundred acres. He takes a good citizen's 
part in public affairs and has been a member of the local school board since 
1901. To Mr. and Mrs. Harden three children have been born, Evert Earl, 
bom on May i, 1893; Leon Clyde, March 13, 1895, and Alva Anthony, 
December 30, 1897, all at home. 

Mrs. Harden's father, William Henry Moorman, a well-known retired 
farmer of this county and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in High- 
land county, Ohio, August 12, 1840, son of John Thomas and Mary^ (\^an 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



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Pelt) Moorman, the former of whom was born in Campbell county, Vir- 
ginia, February 20, 1810, and the latter in Belmont* county, Ohio, July 28, 
1856. John T. Moorman was the son of Reuben and Lydia (Johnson) 
Moorman, both natives of Virginia, the former born on March 25, 1777, and 
the latter, January 25, 1779. Reuben Moorman was a soldier of the Amer- 
ican Revolution and after his death in 181 7 his widow moved to Ohio to 
accept a grant of land tendered by the government in behalf of his services. 
Reuben Moorman's parents, Micajah and Effie Moorman came to America 
from Wales and settled in the colony of Virginia. They were Quakers 
and founded a now widely connected family in this country. John T. Moor- 
man went over into Ohio with his widowed mother and there he married 
Mary Van Pelt, member of a pioneer family of Belmont county. After 
their marriage he and his wife settled in Highland county that same state, 
where they lived until 1849, in which year they emigrated to Iowa and 
settled on a quarter of a section of land in Warren county. There John T. 
Moorman died on December 23, 1882. His wife died many years before. 
He and his wife were the parents of five children: Childress E., Malinda, 
William H., Childs and Sarah, of whom William H. is the only survivor. 
William H. Moorman was reared on the pioneer farm of his parents in 
Warren county, Iowa, and there grew to manhood. He received an excel- 
lent education and all his life has been a great reader. When the Civil War 
broke out he enlisted for service in the Thirty-fourth Regiment, Iowa 
Volunteer Infantry, and served about four years, or until the regiment was 
mustered out at the close of the war, during which time he never lost a day 
of service. He was present at the siege of Vicksburg and participated in 
numerous of the most important engagements of the war, including Sher- 
man's campaign to the sea. On December 8, 1865, he married Sarah C. 
Anthony, who was born in Hamilton county, Indiana, Septeml^er 12, 1843. 
daughter of William and Matilda (Curry) Anthony, the former of whom 
was born in Butler county. Ohio, in 181 2, and the latter in Franklin county, 
Indiana, in 1818. After his marriage William H. Moorman engaged in 
farming in Iowa until 1878, when he moved to Kansas, settled in Stafford 
county and in 1881 came to Reno county with his family and has Hved 
here ever since, an employee of the car-repair service of the Santa Fe rail- 
road until his retirement in 1903. To him and his wife six children were 
torn, as follow: Walter, of Reno county, born on October 27, 1866; 
Mattie, wife of Mr. Harden: Malinda, who died in infancy; Lizzie, at home, 
born on July 9, 1873; Eannie Edna, November 23, 1878, who died on March 
21, 1903, and Elmer O., of Oklahoma, born on June 9, 1884. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. l8l 

JOHN SCHARDEIN. 

John Schardein son of Bernard and Christine (Randolph) Schardein, 
was born seven niiles from Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 24, 1837. Bernard 
Schardein was a weaver by trade, and was born in Alsace, France, in June, 
1808. There he was reared and married. His wife was bom on December 
24, 1810. He came to America in 1833 ^"^ located near Cincinnati, where 
John was born. He went by steamboat to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1835, 
and became a grocer. He later moved to Clark county, Indiana, and pur- 
chased one hundred and forty acres of land. He was the father of five sons 
three of whom were soldiers in the Union army. Philip died of disease at 
Savannah, Tennessee, and w^as buried at Shiloh. Adam was wounded while 
fighting in the Shenandoah valley, and died at Williamsport, Maryland. 
John, who enlisted August 31, 186 1, served three years, was shot twice by 
spent bullets receiving a ball in the foot, which still causes lameness. He 
also received a wound in the breast. He participated in the battles of Ft. 
Henry, Ft. Donelson, Champion's Hill, Vicksburg^ Shenandoah Valley, Ft. 
Mornoe, and took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D. C, at the 
dose of the war. He suffered from ophthalmia in a New Orleans hospital 
during his service. Bernard Schardein and his wife were both members 
of the Christian church and both died in Clark county, Indiana. 

John Schardein was educated in the schools of Ohio and Indiana. 
He married his first wafe, Nancy McKinley (distant relative of President 
McKinley), on April 20, 1857, in Clark county, Indiana. To this union 
was born one child, Luella Miller, now of New Albany, Indiana. Mrs. 
Nancy Schardein died in 1862, and in 1865 Mr. Schardein married Eliza 
Jane Grady, who died on November 18, 1915. Their children are as fol- 
low: John, Addie, Charles, Clara (deceased), Edward, Ethel (died in 
infancy), Hettie and Frederick. 

After he returned from the war, Mr. Schardein went to Macoupin 
county, Illinois, where he lived for thirteen years, renting land w^hich he 
farmed. In August, 1878, he chartered a car from Macoupin county, Illi- 
nois, to Sterling, Kansas, and drove from there to Reno county, to join a 
friend. He homesteaded a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres in 
section 20, Salt Creek township, w^here he lived until 1908, when he retired 
from active farm labor and moved to Nickerson. He always took an active 
interest in the development and improvement of his community, and organ- 
ized school district No. tot, and gave the site for the school building as 



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182 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



long as used for that purpose. He was a stockholder in the elevator com- 
pany, in the telephone company and in the State Bank at Nickerson. After 
his wife's death, he and his daughter, Addie, kept house. Mr. Schardein 
died on March 31, 1916. He was a member of the Christian church, and 
belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he took an active 
interest. 



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PETER C. JONES. 

Peter C. Jones, a well-known merchant tailor of Hutchinson, this county, 
is a native of the gallant little land of Wales, having been born there, in 
the town of Adwy Clawy, on May 21, 1854, son of Peter and Anne (Mat- 
thews) Jones, the former of whom was born at Mold, Wales, and the latter 
near that town. In 1870, the subject of this biographical sketch then being 
sixteen years of age, the Jones family came to America, locating in Williams- 
town, Pennsylvania, where the elder Jones resumed his vocation of tailor, 
to which he had been reared in his native home. Some years later Peter 
Jones and his wife retired from Williamsport and joined their son, Peter 
C, who meanwhile had located at Kankakee, Illinois, later coming thence 
with him to Kansas, when he made his home in Emporia, where their last 
<lays were spent. They were members of the Church of England, and were 
the parents of five children, namely: John M., a tailor in Fredonia, Kansas; 
Thomas N., now deceased, who for years was a well-known tailor in 
Emporia, this state; Peter C, the immediate subject of this sketch; Mary, 
who died in girlhood, and Mrs. Maggie Gelispe, a widow, who, in con- 
nection with her son, is oi)erating a tailor shop at Collegeview, Nebraska. 

Peter C. Jones practically grew up in his father's tailor shop and from 
childhot.d had been trained to the skillful use of a needle and to all the arts 
of the tailor's trade. Upon arriving in this country at the age of sixteen 
he ])eccmic a journeyman tailor and for some time traveled quite extensively 
over the eastern section of the country, finally lociting at Kankakee, Illinois, 
where he carried on his trade until 1879, in which year he came to Kansas, 
locating r.t I''n:|oria, uhcrc he worked as a tailor until 188 1. ITc then 
located in Ihitcliirsnn, where he entered the employ of his elder brother. 
J. M. Tone:-, who Ind opened a tailor shop there some time before, and 
tliere he remained mUil 1R92, in which year he returned to Emporia and 
opened a shop of his own, which he conducted for s:x years and then, in 
1 8^8. rettirned to Tlrtehinson. wIktc he opened a shop and where he has 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 83 

remained ever since, most of which time his popular establishment has been 
located at 10 Sherman street, east, where he enjoys a fine patronage. 

In 1877, ^t Kankakee, Illinois, Peter C. Jones was united in marriage 
to I>ora Knocke, a native of Germany, who, in 1868, when she was eleven 
years of age, came to this country with her parents who located at Kanka- 
kee, and to this union four children have been born, namely: Allen, who 
has charge of the instruction in the tailoring dei>artment of the Kansas state 
reformatory at Hutchinson; Edwin, cashier of the Guymon-Petro Mercan- 
tile Company, of Hutchinson; Walter, a prominent young lawyer and now 
^ity attorney of Hutchinson, a sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this 
^'o/ume, and Charles, who is buying and selling manager of a mill at Haven, 
^his county. The Jones family has a very pleasant home at 626 Sherman 
street, east. Mr. Jones is a member of the Masonic order, of the Court of 
^onor and of the Knights of Pythias, in all of which orders he takes a 
^^arm interest. 



NELSON T. BARRETT. 



Nelson T. Barrett, the well-known lettuce grower of Hutchinson, this 

^^^'^tiy^ the products of whose extensive green-houses are shipped in car- 

^<i lots to all the chief cities of the Central West and who is one of the 

^st-lc^Q^n dealers in his particular line in this part of the country, is a 

^ati\r^ of the great Empire state, having been born at Middletown, in Orange 

^(>unt:3', New York, April 11, i860, son of Creorge and Elizabeth (Purdy) 

^^^^tt, both of whom were born in that same county, the former of Eng- 

"^^ cJescent and the latter of Dutch descent, w^ho later became Kansas 

Pic^n^^rs and well-known residents of Reno county. 

George Barrett owned a grocery and dry-goods store at Middletown, 

^^^ ^old the same in 1862 and moved to Newberg, New York, where he was 

^^S^ged in the same line of business until 1874, in which year he came to 

^''^^as and located in Reno county. Upon arriving here he homesteaded 

^^^ct in Lincoln township, took a timber claim and bought some railroad 

*^^'» his holdings altogether aggregating three hundred and twenty acres. 

^^ ^ Established a home on his place and remained there a couple of summers, 

. ^E>ving up," and then resumed his calling in the mercantile line, ]>ccom- 

^^ "manager for the Rodney Ferguson store at Hutchinson. Tn 1877 he 

^ ^-*M to Kansas Citv, where he established a grocery store at 803 Main 

^^t and was there engaged in business until 1882, in which year he went 



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184 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where for two years he engaged in the whole- 
sale produce business. Meanwhile he had become seriously crippled by a 
severe attack of rheumatism and in 1884 retired from business and returned 
to Reno county. He had retained forty acres of his homestead tract and 
on that small farm spent the remainder of his days, his death occurring in 
19 10, he then being seventy-five years of age. His widow is still living, 
past eighty years of age, and has a pleasant home at 225 Avenue A, east, in 
Hutchinson. To George Barrett and wife six children were born, of whom 
the subject of this sketch is the eldest, the others being as follow : Ida M., 
who married Charles Pellette, now deputy county treasurer of Reno county, 
living at Hutchinson; Carrie, who married Homer Meyers, cashier of the 
bank at Sylvia, this county; Grace, who married Henry Zimm, well-known 
jeweler at Hutchinson; Minnie, who married M. J. Hosmer, a well-known 
traveling salesman, of Hutchinson, and Florence, who married Ernest East- 
man, connected with the Carey industries in Hutchinson. 

Nelson T. Barrett was fourteen years old when he came to Kansas 
with his parents in 1874 and the work of his young manhood was definitely 
identified with the pioneer farm in Lincoln township. When his parents 
moved to town he remained on the farm. Being the eldest child and only 
son, he early took charge of affairs on the farm and by the time he was 
twenty years old he had brought two hundred and forty acres of the place 
under cultivation. Then, in 1880, he left the farm and went to Kansas 
City. For one summer he was employed there in a wholesale fancy-grocery 
store and then, in 1881, he pushed out to the farther frontier and for a year 
was engaged in trapping and hunting in the West. He then took employ- 
ment with the United States government and for a year drove a stage coach 
in the Black Hills, later spending three years in the quartermaster's depart- 
ment. Mr. Barrett still recalls, with a very pardonable measure of pride, 
that during those wild, rough days on the frontier he was the only man 
of his acquaintance who was a "teetotaler.'' In the latter part of 1884 
Mr. Barrett returned to his father's farm in this county, later renting the old 
Doctor Myers farm in Lincoln township, which he operated until 1890, in 
which year he went to Oklahoma and bought a quarter of a section of land 
near Guthrie, where he remained until 1899. He then sold out and returned 
to Hutchinson, where, in 1900, he bought a block of ground west of the 600 
block, between Ninth and Tenth streets, and established his present exten- 
sive green-houses, engaging in the culture of lettuce, and has made a great 
success of his business. He has sixty thousand feet of glass, covering fifteen 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. ^85 

green-houses, the whole expanse being devoted to lettuce culture and he does 
an enormous winter business, shipping his product to Kansas City, Leaven- 
worth, Oklahoma City and other points throughout the Central West. Mr. 
Barrett is a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club and takes an earnest 
part in the general affairs of the city. 

In 1888 Nelson T. Barrett was united in marriage to Ada May Burton, 
and to this union six children have been born, as follow: Stanley, who is 
the proprietor of green-houses on First street in Hutchinson; Mark; who is 
associated with his father in business, and Gale^ Lawrence, Willis and 
Dorothy. 



EDWARD S. HANDY. 



The late Edward S. Handy was for years recognized as one of the 
leading dealers in real estate in Hutchinosn. During his long connection 
with the realty business there he laid out numerous additions to the city 
and in many ways was active in the promotion of the city's growth. He 
was one of the real pioneers of Reno county, and for several years served 
as clerk of the district court, during which time he became thoroughly 
familiar with realty conditions in pioneer days and no man in the county 
possessed a more accurate knowledge of realty values in this section of the 
state than he. Mr. Handy was an honored veteran of the Civil War and 
took an active part in the affairs of the local post of the Grand Army of the 
Republic. His widow, who is still living at Hutchinson, was also one of 
the real pioneers of this county and was a witness of the whole of the won- 
derful development which has marked this region since the early seventies. 
Edward S. Handy was born in Clark county, Illinois, February 28, 
1846, son of Thomas and Jane E, (Scranton) Handy, the former of whom 
was the first male child born in that county, son of John Handy and wife, 
who were among the earliest settlers of that part of Illinois. John Handy 
was a native of the state of New York. Thomas Handy became one of 
the most substantial farmers of his neighborhood and was also the owner 
of a saw-mill. He married Jane E. Scranton, member of one of the pioneer 
families of that section of the state and to that union six children were 
born. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted for service in behalf of 
the Union arms in Company F, Seventy-ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer 
Infantry, and was mustered out with the rank of captain at the close of the 
war. At the battle of Chattanooga he was captured by the enemy and after 



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i86 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 






being kept in various Southern prison pens was sent to Libby prison at 
Richmond. He was one of the famous one hundred and eight who tunneled 
out of that prison, but was recaptured in sight of the Union lines and was 
kept prisoner until presently exchanged. Two of Captain Handy's sons, the 
eldest, Charles, and the subject of this sketch, served in his company -and 
Charles Handy gave up his life to the cause of the Union during the fierce 
engagement at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia. Another son, George Grant 
Handy, was for years engaged in the hardware business at Hutchinson, this 
county. Upon returning home at the close of the war Captain Handy 
resumed his place on the farm and was accidentally killed in his saw-mill in 
1867. 

Edward S. Handy was reared on the home farm and received his ele- 
mentary education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home. 
On August I, 1862, he then being sixteen years old, Edward S. Handy 
enlisted as a recruit in Company F, Seventy-ninth Illinois, his father's com- 
pany, and served until the close of the war. At the battle of Stone's river 
he was severely wounded and for some time was confined to the hospital 
at Murfreesboro, after which he was sent home on a furlough. Upon his 
return to his company, he then being able to walk only by the aid of crutches, 
he was detailed as commissary of a hospital. Upon the return of his regi- 
ment from the Atlanta campaign he was again desirous of re-entering the 
active service, but his health would not permit and he was made clerk to 
the adjutant-general of the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourth Army 
Corps. Subsec|uently he particijxited in the battles of Franklin, Nashville 
and Spring Hill and was mustered out with his regiment at Springfield, Illi- 
nois, June 12, 1865. Upon the completion of his military service Mr. 
Handy entered an academy in the neighborhood of his home and after a 
course there engaged in mercantile business in the town of York, in his 
native county, and was thus engaged until he came to Kansas in the fall of 
1872 and settled in Reno county. He homesteaded a tract of land in Lincoln 
township and sent back word for his brothers and sisters to join him here. 
They came in 187^^ and all homesteaded farms in the same township, thus 
Incoming numbered among the earliest settlers of Lincoln township. Dur- 
ing the grasshopper visitation in 1874 they were hard hit, but overcame all 
li'irdships and presently began to prosper. 

I'^roni the very beginning of his residence in Reno county Edward S. 
Ilrndy was a forceful and valuable member of the pioneer community. In 
1876 he was elected clerk of the district court and was re-elected, serving 
i!^. th'it position for eight y.\'irs. V\)on his election he made his headquarters 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 87 

at Hutchinson. He was married in 1879 and established his home in 
Htitchinson, which place ever afterward was his place of residence. He 
Was an ardent Republican and took a prominent part in the political life of 
this section of the state, frequently serving as a delegate to district and state 
conventions, but with the exception of his service as clerk of the court never 
held public office. Upon the expiration of his term of office in the clerk's 
office Mr. Handy engaged in the general real-estate business and became 
very successful, for many years being regarded as an authority on all ques- 
tions relating to realty in this district. He was notably active in promoting 
the growth and development of the city of Hutchinson and laid out eight or 
ten additions to that city, including Handy's Addition, Riverside Addition, 
Handy & Shadduck's Central Addition, Handy's Eastside Addition and 
<^thers. He also built several of the finest business blocks in the city and 
Has singularly fortunate in his investments. He was one of the incor- 
porators and for a time was president of the Peoples State Bank of Hutchin- 
^^^» later merged into the Hutchinson National Bank, and was one of the 
^"rectors of the latter institution. He also for several years was a director 
^ ^ th^ First National Bank of Hutchinson and for some time was heavily 
^terested in lead and zinc mining propositions at Galena; also in mining 
. ^Pc>sitions in Colorado. For some years he served as a member of the 
y crouncil and one time was the choice of his party for mayor of the city, 
'^ J^^ declined to accept the honor. Mr. Handy was one of the organizers 
J^^e Hooker Post No. 17, Grand Army of the Republic, and for years 
^^ s very active part in the affairs of that patriotic organization, which 



^l>ree terms he served as adjutant. 



Y--. On December 25. 1879, Edward S. Handy was united in marriage to 

r ^^'^ie A. Hale, who was born near the town of Waterloo, in Dekalb county, 

r^ "^ 0.11a, daughter of Marshall and Hannah (Owen) Hale, who came to 

^5ias in 1872 and settled at Hutchinson, then a straggling group of thirty 

- ^Orty houses, with not a tree to relieve the somber monotony of the sand 

J "^ ^^^, Marshall Hale engaged in the fuel and general builder's-supply husi- 

c- ^ ^ and earlv became one of the city's most substantial and influential 

"" ^^^^^^s. He built a house for his family residence in 1872 at 40S Mrst 

^'*>iie, east, and there spent the rest of his life, his death occurritij^^ on Janu- 

', - 3 1, 1906. His widow survived him a little more than eight years, her 

.'ll^'^li occurring in April, 1914. They were the parents of two d:xuG:litcrs, 

! ^^^ Handy liaving a sislcr, Mrs. W. L. Woxlniitt, living at Seattle, Wash- 

Edward S. Handy died at his home in Hutchinson on May 19, 1914. 



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l88 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Besides his widow there survive him three children, namely: Inez L., who 
married Arthur H. Schlaudt, vice-president and general manager of the 
Knoor-Schlaudt Wholesale Notion Company, of Hutchinson, a biographical 
sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Jessie, who married 
Dr. Connor Gray, of Seattle, Washington, and Cara Jean, who married 
J. Lee Dick, superintendent of the Carey Salt Company, of Hutchinson. 



DR. JAMES MYERS. 

Following the death of the venerable Dr. James Myers at his home in 
Hutchinson, this county, on September 9, 191 5, an old settler paid the 
following deserved tribute to the memory of that fine old Christiati gentle- 
man : *'A11 the old settlers that knew him know of his wonderful faith and 
confidence in the country; not only manifested by his talk, but by all the acts 
of his life. He -always thought that Reno county was as good as anywhere 
else, and was never looking for *green fields in the distance.' His success 
proved the accuracy of his judgment. The same characteristics were notice- 
able all through his life. He was a man of strong impulses, of well-fixed 
principles, 'nothing wavering.' True, first to his own family; true to his 
relatives and friends; true to his church, and true to his party; you always 
knew where to find him and how he stood when you did find him. Excep- 
tionally kind hearted, it always did him good to help a deserving and needy 
one." 

The late Dr. James Myers was a native of Ohio, having been born at 
Trenton, in Harrison county, that state, February 25, 1831, son of James R. 
and Maria (Romney) Myers, fifth in order of birth of the fifteen children 
born to that j)arentage, thirteen of whom lived to maturity, and five of whom 
still survive, as follow : J. A. Myers, a retired capitalist of Hutchinson, a 
biographical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Dr. 
Jonathan Myers, of Troy; Albert Myers, of Bellville; Mrs. Robert Ander- 
son, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Mrs. Minnie Moore, of Tolono, Illinois. 
James Myers received his elementary education in the schools of his home 
town in Ohio, supplementing the same by a two-years course in a small 
Presbyterian college at New Hagerstown, Ohio, and a two-years course at 
another sectarian college of the same denomination at Richfield, same state, 
thus received (juite a liberal education for that day. At the age of twenty- 
one he began to teach school and in 1855 emigrated to Iowa, where, in 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 89 

Keokuk and Jefferson counties, he was engaged for four or five years in 
teaching. For six months previous to going to Iowa, he had been reading 
medical books, with a view to becoming a physician, and upon his arrival in 
Iowa resumed this form of study, in addition to his work in the school room, 
and for three years sedulously applied himself to reading medicine in the 
office of his uncle, Dr. D. V. Myers, in Jefferson county. In 1859 he came 
to Kansas, locating in the then pioneer village of Highland, in Doniphan 
county, where he opened an office and began the practice of medicine, thus 
becoming one of the pioneer physicians of Kansas. 

When the Civil War broke out Dr. James Myers helped organize Com- 
pany A, First Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Infantry, that regiment being for 
the most part engaged in fighting the guerillas in Missouri, during which 
service Doctor Myers took an active part. A year or two after locating at 
Highland, Doctor Myers had bought a farm in that neighborhood and upon 
returning from the war resumed his practice there and at the same time 
gave personal attention to the management of his farm. He had married 
in 1861, and in 1874 came to Reno county on a visit to his father-in-law 
and then saw the town of Hutchinson for the first time; at that time becom- 
ing so favorably impressed ^^nth the situation hereabout that in 1878 he and 
his wife moved to this county and bought three hundred acres of excellent 
land in Lincoln township, where they established a new home. Doctor 
Myers did not continue his profession in his new home, and thereafter 
devoted his undivided attention to the development of his extensive and 
growing landed interests and became a very successful farmer and cattle- 
man. In 1883 Doctor Myers retired from the farm and moved into Hutch- 
inson, where he bought a house at 523 Avenue A, east, which he remodeled 
and there he and his wife lived in quiet comfort. The Doctor continued to 
look after his landed interests, however, after moving to town and grad- 
ually added to the same until at one time he was the owner of twelve quarter 
sections of choice land in this county. 

In i86r, in Doniphan county, this state, Dr. James Myers was united 
in marriage to Letitia O'Neal, who was bom in Indiana and whose par- 
ents were among the very first settlers of the Highland neighborhood, hav- 
ing emigrated from Indiana to Kansas very soon after the territory was 
opened for settlement. Mrs. Myers was a typical pioneer wife and mother, 
ever ready to cope with any emergency that might arise amid the primitive 
conditions in which her homekeeping was begun, and ever able to turn appar- 
ent hardships and backsets into eventual successes. She died at her home in 
Hutchinson on March 30, 19 13, and was widely mourned, for her life had 



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IQO RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

been rich in good works. Doctor and Mrs. Myers were active members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church and for years gave their close personal 
attention to all movements designed to advance the common good hereabout. 
Doctor Myers was an ardent Republican from the days of the organiza- 
tion of that party and for many years took an active part in the political 
affairs of Kansas, though never having been included in the office-seeking 
class. To the last he took a keen interest in local affairs, always an earnest 
advocate of civic righteousness, and his counsels and judgments were highly 
respected throughout the community. 

To Dr. James and Letitia (O'Neal) Myers the following children were 
bom, namely: Elmer, who died in 1880 in his yoimg manhood; Mahlon, 
who died in his early youth; Homer, a well-known banker of Sylvia; Wal- 
ter, who died in infancy; Minnie, who married Charles N. Payne, of Hutch- 
inson; Mrs. Olive Epperson, of Hutchinson, and Alice, who married Edward 
Smith and lives in Sylvia. 



JUDGE CHARLES M. WUXIAMS. 

Judge Charles M. Williams, one of the oldest and best-known lawyers 
in Hutchinson, the county seat of Reno county, is a native of Missouri, 
havinj^ been born in the town of Harrisonville, Cass county, that state, in 
July, 1852, son of James H. and Hettie (Son) Williams, the former of 
whom, born in Tennessee in 1818, died in 1884, at the age of sixty-six, and 
the latter, born in Missouri in 1825, died in 1864, at the age of thirty-nine. 

James H. Williams was reared in his native state of Tennessee and 
when a young man moved to Missouri, where he became a pioneer merchant 
in the town of Harrisonville, and where he spent the remainder of his life. 
He married Hettie Son, and to this union seven children were born, two 
daughters and five sons, all of whom are deceased except Dr. William W. 
Williams, a dentist at Sioux City, Iowa, and Charles M., the immediate sub- 
ject of this sketch. Upon the death of the mother of these children, James 
H. Williams married, secondly, Armina Son, a sister of his deceased wife, 
and to this latter union three sons were born, Robert, who lives in San Fran- 
cisco, California; George, who lives at Warrensburg, Missouri, and Jesse, 
who for years has been an employee of the Santa Fe Railroad Company. 

Upon completing the course in the public schools in his native town, 
Harrisonville, Missouri, Charles M. Williams entered the Kentucky State 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I9I 

University, continuing there initil his junior year, after which he taught 
school for a couple of terms and for a short time worked in his father's 
store at Harrisonville. He then entered the law office of Terrell & Math- 
ews, at Harrisonville, and after a diligent course of reading passed the 
required examinations and was admitted to the bar in 1875, after which he 
engaged in the practice of law at Harrisonville and Belton, Missouri, until 
1886, in which year he came to Reno county and located at Hutchinson, the 
county seat, where he entered into a partnership relation with an estab- 
lished firm, under the firm style of McKinstry, Wisler & Williams. A short 
time afterward Mr. Williams formed a new partnership, under the firm 
style of Davidson & Williams, which lasted until 1896, when he formed a 
partnership with F. F. Prigg, which continued until Judge Prigg ascended 
the bench of the district court in 191 3, since which time Mr. Williams has 
been alone in his practice. 

In 1902 Charles M. Williams was appointed by Governor Bailey to fill 
the unexpired term of Judge Simpson, of the district, court, who had been 
killed, and in the September following his appointment resigned the office, 
preferring his private practice to a place on the bench. In 1890 Judge 
Williams was elected to the office of county attorney of Renn county and 
served until 1892, when he resigned before his term was out. Judge Will- 
iams has enjoyed a very good law practice and there are but two attorneys 
at the bar of the Reno court who have been practicing in Hutchinson longer 
than he has. 

On September 4, 1876, at Harrisonville, Missouri, Charles M. Will- 
iams was united in marriage to Nannie Stair, who was bom in Wisconsin, 
daughter of Edward and Margaret Stair, the former of whom, for many 
years a building contractor at Harrisonville, now is deceased and the latter 
is making her home in the household of Judge Williams. To Judge and 
Mrs. Williams one child has been born, a son, Roy E., bom in August, 
1884, ^vho attended Armour Institute at Chicago, being graduated from the 
department of mechanical and electrical engineering, and is now an engineer 
with Crane & Company, of Chicago, is married and has one child, a son, 
Charles F. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have a pleasant home at 547 Avenue A, 
east, in Hutchinson, Mr. Williams having erected his residence there in 1887, 
the year following his location in Hutchinson. 

Judge Williams was a Democrat until 1896, when on accoinit of the 
nomination of William Jennings Bryan on a free silver ticket he left the 
Democratic party and voted with the Rq>ul)licans. and has ever since worked 
and affiliated with the Republican party and for years has been an influential 



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192 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

factor in the councils of this jxirty in this county, he having been a frequent 
delegate to Republican conventions and in other ways manifesting his inter- 
est in the affairs of the party. He takes an active interest in the general 
development of the commercial and industrial progress of his city and county 
and has been largely influential in securing a number of public and private 
institutions in this city. 



CAPT. JESSE BRAINARD. 

Among the many veterans of the Civil War who came to this county 
immediately after it was thrown open to settlement and filed soldier's claims 
to land here and who braved the first few hard years following their settle- 
ment, later to be rewarded by plenty, few are better known than Capt Jesse 
Brainaf^ who is now living in substantial comfort in the city of Hutchinson, 
to which place he retired upon leaving his farm in 1910. 

Jesse Brainard was born in Summit county, Ohio, on June 15, 1838, 
youngest of the eight children of Timothy and Mary, or *Tolly" (Sweet) 
Brainard, the former of whom was born near the town of Haddam, Con- 
necticut, in 1785, and the latter, near the town of Warren, in New York 
state, in 1805. 

Timothy Brainard was one of the fourteen children of Jesse and Mary 
(Thomas) Brainard, who were married in 1776 and w^ho lived at Haddam, 
Connecticut, until 1803, in which year they moved to Leyden, in Lewis 
county, New York, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Timothy 
Brainard was reared as a farmer and when the War of 1812 broke out 
enlisted for service and served until the close of that brief but conclusive 
struggle, in payment for which service he received a warrant for eighty 
acres of land, which he sold. In 1817 he married 'Tolly" Sweet and soon 
thereafter drove through with ox-teams to Summit county, Ohio. On his 
way he passed through the hamlet which was destined to grow into the 
flourishing city of Cleveland, but which at that time contained but three 
houses. Arriving in Summit county, he located in Stowe township, where 
he entered a tract of government land and proceeded to clear the same and 
establish a home in the then wilderness. He prospered and later added to 
that tract by purchase until he became the owner of three hundred and twenty 
acres, quite a good farm for that time and place. In 1842 he sold that farm 
and moved to the town of Cayuga Falls, not so very far from the place 
where he had lived so long, and engaged in the paper trade, his practice 



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^nro^<^^%4^€u\^a^^_^^ 



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J 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. I93 

being to drive through the country with loads of manufactured paper and 
trade the same for paper rags. He later bought a farm near there, on 
which he made his home until the death of his wife in 1856, after which he 
made his home with a son in lUinois, where his death occurred in August, 
1869. 

Timothy Brainard was a Whig in his early political affiliations, later an 
Abolitionist and then a Republican. During the trying days preceding the 
Civil War he was an active "conductor*' on the famous "underground rail- 
road,'' his farm being one of the best-known "stations** thereabout, and many 
a harried black he aided in securing freedom by flight across the border. He 
and his wife were the parents of eight children, namely : Francis, a veteran 
of the Civil War, who died in 1880; Mrs. Mary Atwood, now deceased; 
Henry, now deceased, who for years was a pilot on the Ohio river and whose 
whereabouts for years was unknown to his family; Lucy, who died of 
typhoid fever, at the age of eighteen, shortly before the date set for her 
marriage; Thomas, who died in 1874, in Illinois; Julia, who married B. D. 
Green and settled in Valley township, this county, in October, 1873, and 
died at Nickerson, this county, in April, 1914; Ann M., who married Charles 
Green, both of whom now are deceased, and Jesse, the immediate subject of 
this sketch, the sole survivor of this large family. 

Jesse Brainard was four years of age when his parents moved to Cayuga 
Falls and he received his elementary education in the public schools of that 
town, supplementing the same by a course in a commercial college in Phila- 
delphia in 1856, during which time he made his home with his uncle, the 
Rev. Thomas Brainard, a minister of the Presbyterian church in that city. 
In 1857 he went to Illinois and was working on a farm in McLean county, 
that state, when the Civil War broke out. On August 26, 1861, he enlisted in 
Company B, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, with which he served until in February, 
1864, at which time Tie was promoted to the rank of captain of Company I, 
Third United States (Colored) Cavalry, with which he served until January 
26, 1 866, on which date he was mustered out. Captain Brainard participated 
in the battles of Belmont, Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson and Shiloh, after which 
latter engagement his company for months was stationed as a guard to the 
Mennphis & Charleston railroad. He then took part in the siege of Vicks- 
burg and the next February was promoted to the rank of Captain. For six 
months his cavalry company was stationed at Goodrich's Landing, Louisiana, 
then at Vicksburg and then was transferred to Memphis and was at the latter 
point when the war came to an end. Following that the company was kept 

(13a) 



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194 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



busy for months keeping down "jayhawkers/' Captain Brainard having been 
appointed assistant adjutant-general, under General Dudley, doing scouting 
and provost duty. During the war Captain Brainard was wounded twice, 
once in the side and once in the arm, during a cavalry fight in Arkansas. 

At the close of his military service Captain Brainard returned to McLean 
county, Illinois, and on September 26, 1866, was married to Mary M. War- 
low, who was born on a farm in that county, nine miles west of the town 
of Bloomington, on April 26, 1843, daughter of Jonathan and Catherine 
(Hay) Warlow, the former of whom, a native of Massachusetts, had emi- 
grated to Illionis with his parents in 1834 and who there jnarried Catherine 
Hay, who had located there with her parents, who had emigrated from Ken- 
tucky. Jonathan Warlow became a quite well-to-do farmer and he and his 
wife spent their last days on their home farm in Illinois. After his mar- 
riage, Captain Brainard bought two hundred and twelve acres in the north 
part of McLean county, which he sold in 1868 and bought a farm of one 
hundred and four acres eight miles west of Bloomington, where he lived 
until 1873, in which year he came to Kansas and filed a soldier's claim to a 
tract of land in Salt Creek township, this county, and returned home to sell 
his farm and close out his affairs preparatory to making his home in Kansas. 
He did not get back here within the prescribed six months and thus forfeited 
his claim, but in February, 1874, he returned to Reno county and bought a 
discouraged homesteader's pre-emption right and transferred his soldier's 
right to a quarter section in Valley township. His family joined him in 
March. of that year and they proceeded to establish a home on the plains, 
their first habitation being a mere shanty, eight by twelve feet. That was 
''grasshopper year," and they consequently, in common with all the pioneers 
hereabout, lost their first crop, but they stuck it out and after the first few 
hard years began to prosper, presently becoming recognized as among the 
most substantial families in the county. Captain Brainard after awhile 
enlarged liis original holdings by the purchase of a quarter section cornering 
on his original tract, the southeast quarter of section 30, township 23, range 
4 west, and now owns one-half section of well-improved and valuable land. 
He made big money farming as the years went by and in Jime, 1910, retired 
from the active duties of the old home place and he and his wife, ever a 
competent and valuable helpmate to him in the days on the farm, moved 
into Hutchinson, buying a home at 306 Sixth avenue, east, where they are 
now living in quiet comfort. They have but one child, a daughter, Jennie 
E., born on February 28, 1879, who married George P. Lowe, a prosperous 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 195 

farmer of Valley township, this county, and has six children, Hazel, Norman 
J., Ray B., Wesley L., Keith and Edwin. 

Captain Brainard is an ardent Republican, but never was a candidate 
for public office. He is a member of Joe Hooker Post, Grand Army of the 
Republic, and is ako affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 
Mrs. Brainard is a member of the Presbyterian church. Formerly Captain 
Brainard was a member of the same church and gave the land at the south- 
east comer of his farm on which the Presbyterian church in that section is 
situated, at the same time contributing liberally to the fund for the erection 
of the church, but has since taken his letter out and withdrawn from the 
congregation. 



RANDALL P. HERSHBERGER. 

Randall P. Hershberger, a well-to-do retired farmer of this county, now 

living in the city of Hutchinson, is a native of Ohio, having been born in 

Wyandot county, that state, on December 2^, 1863, son of J. H. and Sam- 

antha (Paul) Hershberger, the former a native of Wyandot county, Ohio, 

ajid the latter of Cravyford county, same state. 

J. H. Hershberger, who is now living retired at Hutchinson, at the age 

of eighty-two, was reared as a farmer in Ohio, where he married and 

where he lived until the spring of 1874, at which time he came with his 

family to this county and bought out the homestead rights to a half section 

of land in Reno township, the tract now occupied by the county farm. He 

proved up this claim, but after the grasshopper scourge of that fall became 

so discouraged over the outlook here that he left the county and returned to 

his farm in Ohio. In 1883 he and his family returned to Reno county and 

took up their residence on his half section in Reno township. In 1886 he 

sold that farm and bought another farm in Clay township,, on which he 

Ji^'cd for a year, at the end of which time he sold it and moved to Hutchin- 

'*^n and invested in real estate, which failed to develop as he had expected 

^^^d he lost considerable money when the "boom" collapsed, in 1888. He 

then returned to the country and rented a farm south of Hutchinson, living 

there until 1900, when he returned to Hutchinson. His wife died in March, 

'^^3' at the age of seventy-two, and Mr. Hershberger is now making his 

l^^»nie with his daughter, Mrs. J. M. Dana, in Hutchinson. Mr. and Mrs. 

"^i^hberger were the parents of four children, the subject of this biographi- 

^' sketch having three sisters, Mary, who married J. M. Dana and lives in 



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196 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Hutchinson ; Frankie, wlio married M. C. Obee, a merchant of South Hutch- 
inson, and Rose, who married Harry Dice and lives in Hutchinson. 

Randall P. Hershberger received his education in the public schools of 
the neighborhood of his boyhood in Ohio and in the old Sherman street 
school at Hutchinson, this coimty. He remained on the farm in this county, 
with his father, until he was grown and then he learned the plumbing trade 
under Stewart & Hellowell, in Hutchinson, and worked at that trade in that 
city until he was married, in 1891, after which he rented a farm in Lincoln 
township, this county, on which he made his home until 1898, in which 
year he bought the southeast quarter of section 32, township 24, range 6 
west, which he still owns. He made his home on that farm for twelve years 
and prospered. His wife also owns a fine farm in that same neighborhood, 
the northeast quarter of section 29, township 24, range 6 west, and in 19 10 
Mr. and Mrs. Hershberger retired from the farm and moved into Hutch- 
inson, where they bought the old McCandless home, at 218 Sherman street, 
east, where they have since made their home, Mr. Hershberger directing the 
operations of the two farms from his home in the city. 

On February 18, 1891, Randall P. Hershberger was united in marriage 
to Alice Obee, who was born in the town of Napoleon, Lucas county, Ohio, 
daughter of Henry and Louisa Obee, further mention of whom is made in 
the biographical sketch relating to L. H. Obee, presented elsewhere in this 
volume, and to this union two children have been born, Paul, bom on Sep- 
tember 22, 1892, who is a graduate of the Hutchinson high school, and 
Locke, September 28, 1895, ^ mechanic for the Hudson Motor Car Com- 
pany, of Detroit. Mr. Hershberger is a mem})er of the Elks of Hutchinson 
and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and takes a warm interest in 
the affairs of those popular organizations. 



ELI BOWMAN. 



The late Eli Bowman, who died at his home in Hutchinson, this county, 
on June 21, 1896, was one of the Kansas pioneers who did well his part 
during the formative period of that section of the state in which he settled, 
and his memory, particularly in Barton county, long will be cherished by the 
people thereabout. He was a man of strong character, and his helpful 
services in behalf of many of his pioneer neighbors who were less well 
endowed than he have not been forgotten to this day. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. TQ/ 

Eli Bowman was born in Licking county, Ohio, on December 13, 1841, 

son of David and Mary (Mouser) Bowman, both natives of Pemisylvania, 

in which latter state they were married, after which they settled in Licking 

o.?inty, Ohio, where David Bowman operated a broom factory. In 1842 

ihcy emigrated to Illinois, settling in Crawford county, on the eastern edge 

of that state, it having been discovered that the soil of that section was 

peculiarly adapted to the culture of broom corn, and there David Bowman 

Iwught a tract of government land, for which he paid one dollar and twenty- 

^ve cents the acre and paid for the same out of the money he made from 

tile manufacture of l>rooms. He prospered and gradually added to his hold- 

'"?=> in that county until he became the owner of twelve hundred acres of 

'and. He was among the earliest settlers of that part of the county in 

which he located and upon the organization of the township in which he 

lived Avas able to secure for it the name of Licking township, in honor of 

W** olcl home county, in Ohio. He spent the rest of his Hfe there, dying in 

i8c>4^ at the age of eighty-one. He had been thrice married and was the 

fath^t- of a large family. His first wife, who was Mary Mouser, mother of 

the si_ibject of this sketch, died in 1858 and he then married Angeline Bow- 

'^**^*^, who. however, was not of the same family of Bowmans as he, and 

"F^^i^ her death married a Bishop. 

X£li Bowman was but one year old when his parents settled in Illinois, 

^^<J. he consequently was reared in that state. He was the eldest son who 

hv^d to maturity and was, therefore, the mainstay of his father in the labor 

^^ developing his growing farm interests. When he was twenty-five years 

3.g-e, in 1866, Eli Bowman married and his father then gave him a quarter 

^^ a- section of land and he started farming on his own account, remaining 

0^ that farm until the spring of 1873, when he, like so many others about 

^^^ period, caught the "Kansas fever,'* and came to this state, locating in 

^^ton county, where he homesteaded eighty acres of land in Pawnee Rock 

^^'^i?hip, toc4< a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres and pre- 

Ptecl an additional eighty acres. The night he and his family arrived on 

]^ homestead a bufifalo was seen on this place. The year following their 

, '^'^1 there, 1874, the grasshoppers ate up everything they had raised, but 

^^:xt year they had good crops and presently were in prosperous circum- 

*uic^^ The town of Pawnee Rock after awhile was located on the section 

J^iTxing their claim, which caused the value of the Bowman claim to 

x^ ^^^e so rapidly in price that much of it was sold to advantage. In 1883 

' bowman left the farm, built a home at Pawnee Rock, into which h.* 

*^is familv moved, and he and his brother, W. Henrv Bowman, built a 



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198 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



fine flour-mill in the new settlement, and for years did a flourishing business 
under the name of Bowman Brothers. Mr. Bowman also operated a general 
store in Pawnee Rock for several years and increased his land holdings by 
the purchase of a good farm in Barber county. In 1894 he traded his store 
for sixty-two lots in the eastern part of Hutchinson, this county, and in the 
fall of that year moved to that city. He bought a house at 621 North Main 
street and there he spent his last days, his death occurring about two years 
later, on June 21, 1896. His widow is still making her home in the same 
house. 

EH Bowman was a Republican and during the years of his residence in 
Barton county took an active part in ix)litical afifairs. He was the first jus- 
tice of the peace of his home township there and for years also served as a 
member of the town council of Pawnee Rock. His wife also served for one 
year as a member of the city council, she also having been elected as a Repub- 
lican. The Bowmans were a very influential and helpful influence among 
their pioneer neighbors in Barton county. They had brought to that county 
the first domesticated cow and the first churn ever brought to the county 
and presently, as other neighbors acquired cows, their churn was in great 
demand, being borrowed for miles around. Mr. Bowman was a man of very 
generous sympathies and it is said of him that he helped fully two-thirds of 
the settlers in that part of the county to get a start, either by lending them 
money or by extending liberal credit to them at his mill and store. He 
was a member of the Knights of Pythias and both he and his wife were 
active in the work of the Pythian Sisters. They were members of the 
United Brethren church, but since living in Hutchinson Mrs. Bowman has 
been a member of the First Methodist church. 

On Octoljer 28, 1866, Eli Bowman was united in marriage to Hen- 
rietta Barrett, who was born in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, daughter 
of Thomas and Catherine (Flick) Barrett, the former of whom was bom 
in England and the latter in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. Thomas 
Barrett was four years of age when he was brought to America by his par- 
ents. His father, Thomas Barrett, Sr., was a memter of the aristocracy in 
England, a graduate of Oxford College and by profession a civil engineer, 
which profession he followed after coming to this country. He was acci- 
dentally drowned in the Susquehanna river when his son, Thomas,- was 
seventeen years old, the lad thus early being completely orphaned, for his 
mother had died when he was seven years of age. The younger Thomas 
Barrett grew up in Pennsylvania and became a timber man, owner of a large 




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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 1 99 

saw-mill, and became quite well-to-do. In 1865 he and his family and his 
brother, Joseph, and the latter's family, emigrated to Illinois and settled in 
Crawford county, where they became extensive landowners. There Thomas 
Barrett died on February 10, 1869, at the age of fifty-three. His widow 
later made her home on the farm of her daughter, Mrs. Bowman, at Paw- 
nee Rock, where her death occurred on March 29, 1883, the day she was 
fifty-nine years of age. 

To Eli and Henrietta (Barrett) Bowman four children were born, as 
follow: Dora, born on February 17, 1870, widow of A. Bert Cook, and 
lives at Geneseo, Illinois, where she has one child, a son, A. B. Jr. ; Will M., 
November 14, 1880, a printer in the office of the Hutchinson Wholesaler, 
who married Dove Gear and has five children, Henrietta, Wilma, Keith, 
Wayne and Hugh; Myron, February 11, 1883, who married Jessie Cutshaw 
and lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is engaged in the wholesale 
cigar business, and Minola, September 28, 1886, who married Sherman Mil- 
ler, a farmer of Valley township, this county, and has two children, Sher- 
man and Ira. 



FRED SCHARDEIN. 



Fred Schardein, a farmer of Reno county, was born on December 10, 
1883, on his father's homestead farm in Salt Creek township. His parents, 
John and Eliza J. (Grady) Schardein, settled in Kansas in 1878. He was 
educated in the district schools of his home township, and took up farming 
as a vocation after leaving school. 

Mr. Schardein has leased his father's farm, which he has been operating 
for several years, and is making arrangements for the purchase of this farm 
in the near future. His father placed all the early improvements on the 
place, but during the last three years Mr. Schardein has erected a dwelling 
house, a bam and silo, and otherwise improved the farm. 

On May 6, 1908, at Hutchinson, Fred Schardein was married to Anna 
F. Long, who was born, on March 10, 1885, the daughter of Daniel and 
Alice A. (Welty) Long, who were among the early pioneer settlers of Reno 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Schardein are the parents of three children: Fern, 
born on March 25, 1909; Teddy, November 20, 19 12, and Frederick, March 
I, 1915. Mr. Schardein is a member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and the Sons of Veterans. 



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200 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

COL. HENRY HARTFORD. 

Col. Henry Hartford, a distinguished veteran of the Civil War and 
proprietor of the noted "Hillsview Stock Farm,'' in Medora township, this 
county, who for some years has been living comfortably retired at his pleas- 
ant home at 410 Fourth avenue, east, in the city of Hutchinson, is a native 
of the Emerald Isle, having been born in County Londonderry, Ireland, 
February 8, 1837, son of William and Martha (I^slie) Hartford, both 
natives of that same county, the former of whom died in Ireland at the age 
of forty-four and the latter of whom, born in 1812, died at the home of her 
son, the subject of this sketch, in Medora township, this county, in 1905. 

William and Martha Hartford, well-to-do people in Ireland, were the 
parents of five children, of whom Col. Henry Hartford is the eldest, the 
others being WilHam, who resides at Lahunta, Colorado; John died in young 
manhood in Ireland; and Elizabeth and Susan, twins, the former of whom 
married George Cooter, now a retired farmer, living in Hutchinson, this 
county, and the latter of whom married John Clark and died at their home 
at Long Branch, New Jersey. 

Henry Hartford received an excellent education in private schools at his 
boyhood home in Ireland and when he was eighteen years old determined to 
try his fortune in the great and promising New World across the water. 
With this end in view, in 1855, he took passage on one of the first steam- 
ships that crossed the Atlantic and in due time landed at the port of New 
York. In that city he had little difficulty in finding employment and as his 
brother William had preceded him, they both were engaged as clerks in a 
grocery store. In the early sixties their widowed mother and one sister 
joined them in their new home in New York and the reunited family estab- 
lished a very comfortable home there. The other sister had come about 
1859. Years afterward when the Hartford brothers became successful 
homesteaders in this county, the widow Hartford joined them here and her 
last days were spent in this county, at the home of her eldest son. 

Upon President Lincoln's first call for volunteers to help in the sup- 
pression of the rebellion of the Southern states, Henry Hartford left his 
place behind the counter of the grocery store and enlisted in Company K, 
First New Jersey Militia, for the three-months service prescribed in the first 
call for troops. Upon the expiration of this service the militia was reorgan- 
ized as a volunteer regiment and became the Eighth Regiment, New Jersey 
Volunteer Infantry, Henry Hartford becoming first sergeant of Company F 
of the same, and in this regiment he served until it was mustered out follow- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 20I 

ing tlie Grand Review at the close of the war, performing his soldierly duties 
so faithfully that he was mustered out as lieutenant-colonel, in command of 
the regiment. Sergeant Hartford rose steadily in the ranks during the early 
part of his service and was ranking officer of the regiment when Col. John 
Ramsey, commander of the regiment, was raised to the rank of brigadier 
general, in charge of his brigade of the Second Army Corps, which left a 
vacancy and it was then Mr. Hartford was made colonel of his regiment 
and was in command until the close of the war. The Eighth New Jersey 
was in the very thick of every important battle fought by the Army of the 
Potomac and Colonel Hartford was wounded five times seriously and once 
slightly, his most serious wounds having been received at the battle of Peters- 
burg, Virginia, June 16, 1864; the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, ^^^ ^^ 
the battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862. He was in the thick of things 
during the battle of Fredericksburg and in all the other battles under Gen. 
Joe Hooker and some of the battles under General Sickles. Colonel Hart- 
ford was in charge of his regiment in the Grand Review in Washington at 
the close of the war and after the regiment was mustered out he remained 
in the service, assisting in checking up regimental stores, until in October, 
1865, when he, too, was mustered out. Colonel Hartford had a most inter- 
esting military career. He was in the following engagements: Yorktown, 
Williamsburg, part of General McClelland's retreat to Malvern Hill, Bristle 
Station, Second Bull Run, Mine Run, Gettysburg, Kelley's Ford, McLean 
Ford, and many other minor engagements. 

Upon the conclusion of his military service, Colonel Hartford returned 
to New York City and for a year thereafter was employed in the office of 
the city assessor, at the end of which time he was engaged by the old Sprague 
& McKillets Mercantile Agency, a concern then corresponding to the now 
well-known Dunn and Bradstreet agencies, with which he was connected 
until 1867, in which year he and his brother, William, decided to test the 
opportunities apparently presented in the then new West. They came to 
Kansas, locating at Leavenworth, where they engaged in the commission 
business, under the firm style of the Hartford Brothers Commission Com- 
pany and thus continued in business there until 1872. In November, 1872, 
Colonel Hartford had made a trip over into Reno county and had filed a 
claim for a soldier's homestead in Medora township, filing on the northeast 
quarter of section 18, township 22, range 4, west, which land he still owns, 
and in February, 1873, moved onto his homestead and began to develop the 
same. His brother filed on another quarter of the same section; his mother 
who, meanwhile, also had come West, took up another quarter of the same 



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202 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

and his brother-in-law, George W. Cooter, filed on the remaining quarter, 
the family thus being together the owners of all of section i8, in Medora 
township, and among the very earliest settlers of Reno county. The hard- 
ships endured by the early settlers of this county are fittingly described in 
the historical section of this work and need not therefore be more than 
touched on here, but it is proper to say that the Hart fords did not escape 
their share of privation. They rose equal to all emergencies and superior 
to all discouragements, however, and in the end prospered greatly. Follow- 
ing the dread grasshopper scourge of 1874, Colonel Hartford, a natural 
leader of men, took charge of affairs in behalf of the suffering and famine- 
stricken settlers and was the first man to secure aid from the East for Reno 
county and acted as distributing agent for supplies apportioned to Medora 
township and in other ways rendered invaluable assistance during the dreary 
days which tried the souls of all hereabout. From the very beginning. 
Colonel Hartford conducted his farming operations on an extensive scale 
and presently became known as one of the most progressive ranchers and 
cattle men in this section of the state. As he prospered he gradually added 
to "Hillsview Stock Farm," until he now owns one thousand acres of choice 
land in Medora township, where for years Colonel Hartford had a fine grade 
of pure-blood Shorthorn cattle of which he made a specialty, but before 
retiring sold out his cattle, the great ranch now being under the management 
of Colonel Hartford's son, Harry E. Hartford, whose progressive ideas are 
producing excellent results. Colonel Hartford has not confined his business 
activities wholly to his ranch, however, and is the owner of quite a bit of 
valuable property in the city of Hutchinson. Though practically retired from 
the more active pursuits of life, he continues to take a warm interest in 
affairs and personally gives his close attention to some of the details of his 
extensive interests. In 1906 Colonel and Mrs. Hartford retired from the 
ranch and moved into the city of Hutchinson, where they have a very pleas- 
ant home and where they are now living. 

On February 28, 1879, Col. Henry Hartford was united in marriage, in 
Medora township, this county, to Alice Elizabeth Thomas, who was born in 
Jennings county, Indiana, daughter of Joseph V. and Emily Thomas, who 
came with their family to Reno county in 1873 and entered a quarter of a 
section of land adjoining the Hartford section in Medora township, and to 
this union five children have been born, namely: Ethel died at the age of 
fourteen years ; Ella, a teacher in the Hutchinson schools, lives with her par- 
ents ; Harry, who is on his father's farm ; Daile, who married John Cain and 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS, 2O3 

lives at Mitchell, in Rice county, this state ; and Martha May, who is at 
home with her parents, is also a teacher in the city schools. 

Colonel Hartford is an ardent Republican and during the more active 
years of his life attended every county and many district and state conven- 
tions of his party. He was the second sheriff elected in Reno county, serv- 
ing- in that office in the years 1874-75, and also served very efficiently as 
township clerk and member of the school board. He is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows in which order he takes much interest, 
and is one of the directors of the Eastside Cemetery Association. It was 
Colonel Hartford who received general credit among the members of that 
post for having given Joe Hooker Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at 
Hutcliinson, its name, he and Captain F. L. Mintie, who were the only 
charter members of that post who had fought under General Hooker, having 
fovight so vigorously for this honor in behalf of their old general that the 
other comrades of the post finally gave in and Joe Hooker post it ever has 
^cri. Colonel Hartford ever having been one of the most active members 
of the same. 



WILLIAM R. CONE, D. D. S. 

-Tif. William R. Cone, a well-known dentist, of Hutchinson, this county, 

^ ^"i^itive of Missouri, having been born on a farm in the neighborhood 

*^^J^>any, in Gentry county, that state, on August 28, i860, son of E. W. 

riliza M. (Ogden) Cone, both of whom were born in Fountain county, 

^^^T>^^ the former on December 25, 1834, and the latter, August 29, 1835, 

^ <^ f whom are still living. 

, ^ ^^, W. Cone was reared on his father's farm in Fountain county, 

^^^a, and was married in that county, shortly after which, in 1858, he 

^''ecl to Missouri and bought a farm in Gentry county, in the neighborhood 

^"^Ibany. He was a Douglas Democrat and an ardent anti-slavery man, 

^^ Tiever hesitated to make his position on the burning issues of that day 

'^Owti. Following the election of President Lincoln, in i860, his pro-slavery 

^^^gbbors, who even then were organizing guerilla bands thereabout in pre- 

\?^tation for eventualities, drove him out of the neighborhood. He was 

compelled to sacrifice his farm in Missouri and took his family and moved 

to Muscatine, Iowa, where he remained for a few months, at the end of 

which time he leased a farm in Mercer county, Illinois, on which he lived 

until the fall of 1872. He then came to Kansas, locating on a homestead 



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204 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

on Prairie Dog creek, in the northern part of the state. He had been there 
but a short time when a prairie fire devastated that whole section of the 
state, he and his family saving their lives only by desperate back-firing and 
plowing under the sod in a radius of twenty acres surrounding their home. 
Discouraged by the outlook there, the Cones moved to the Junction City 
neighborhood, where they raised a crop the succeeding year and in the spring 
of 1874 moved to another farm near Peabody, Kansas, That was grass- 
hopi^er year and everything they raised that summer was eaten up by the 
cloud of pests that overwhelmed the land. In the fall of that year the fam- 
ily moved over into Coffey county and there E. W. Cone bought a farm on 
which he made his home until 1884, in which year he and his wife retired 
from the farm and moved to Tulare county, CaHfornia, where they are' 
now living, he being past eighty-one years of age, and she past eighty. They 
are members of the Presbyterian church and their eight children, all of 
whom are Hving, were reared in that faith. These children, in the order of 
their birth, are as follow: Edgar P., a fruit farmer, who lives near Seattle, 
Washington; Dr. William K., the immediate subject of this sketch; Carlton, 
who lives at Fresno, California; Oscar, a building contractor, also living at 
Fresno; Samantha, who married S. C. Wilkinson and lives at Laton, Cali- 
fornia; Catherine, * who married W. W. Wilkinson and lives at El Paso, 
Texas; Josephine, who married E. A. Atchison and lives at Butte, Montana, 
and Cora, who married George X. White and lives at Boise, Idaho. 

William R. Cone received his elementary education in the district schools 
of Illinois and Kansas. He was twelve years of age when his family moved 
to this state and at the age of seventeen he began teaching school in Coffey 
county and was thus engaged for five years, at the end of which time, in 
1883, he entered the University of Kansas, from which he was graduated in 
1888, with die degree of Bachelor of Arts. In the fall of 1888 he was 
elected county superintendent of schools of Coffey county, in which capacity 
he served for two years. In the meantime, he had taken up the study of 
dental surgery and in 1891 began the practice of that profession at Flor- 
ence and continued thus engaged until 1894, in which year he entered the 
College of Dental Surgery at Chicago and upon completing his course there 
returned to Florence, where he practiced until in February, 1899, at which 
time he came to Reno county, locating at Hutchinson, where he ever since 
has been engaged in the practice of his profession. 

On March iq, 1895, ^^' William R. Cone was united in marriage to 
Armanellie Stetler, who was born in Burlington, Iowa, October 11, 1868, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 20$ 

daughter of I. H. and Retta Stetler, both of whom are now living in Chicago. 
Mrs. Cone was graduated from the Woman's Medical College of North- 
western University, at Chicago, and from the time of her arrival in Hutch- 
inson until 1906 was actively engaged in the practice of her profession, 
making a specialty of diseases of women and children. Doctor and Mrs. 
Cone are members of the Presbyterian church and Doctor Cone is a Mason. 
In 1907 Doctor Cone built a pretty suburban home at 900 Seventeenth 
street, west, where he owns a fine tract of forty acres. Twenty acres of 
this tract is set to orchard fruit, mostly apples and cherries, and in this fine 
orchard the Doctor finds his chief diversion from the exacting duties of his 
profession, deriving not only considerable profit from his orchard but an 
infinite amoimt of pleasure in the cultivation of the same. 



HOUSTON WHITESIDE. 

Houston Whiteside, dean of the Reno County Bar Association, one of 
the best-known lawyers in Kansas, founder of the Hutchinson News and 
probably the oldest continuous resident of the city of Hutchinson, a man 
who has witnessed the development of that bustling city from the days it 
consisted of a few unsightly shanties stuck up in the dreary sands of the 
original townsite and who has aided very materially m the development of 
the city to its present exalted status, is a native of Tennessee, he having 
been born in Shelby ville, that state, in 1847, son of Russell Porter and Mary 
Ann (Houston) Whiteside, the former of whom, born in 1824 died in 
1854, and the latter, born in 1824, died in 191 2. 

Russell r*orter Whiteside was born near Shelbyville, Tennessee, mem- 
ber of a pioneer family of that section, and^was reared on the paternal farm. 
His elder brother, Thomas C. Whiteside, was a prominent attorney in Shel- 
byville, and upon completing his schooling he entered his brother's office and 
began the study of law, presently being admitted to the bar and becoming 
a partner of William H. Wisener in the practice of the law, with offices at 
Shelbyville and Lewisburg, quickly taking his place among the leaders of the 
bar thereabout, entering upon a most promising career, which was cut short 
by death at the early age of twenty-eight. Russell P. Whiteside married 
Mary Ann Houston, who was born near Concord, in Cabarrus county, 
^orth Carolina, daughter of Dr. William and Sarah (Phifer) Houston, 
^bo emigrated to Tennessee with her parents when seven years of age, her 



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206 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

father having located there at that time on a large tract of land which had 
been granted to his father by the government in consideration of his dis- 
tinguished services in behalf of the armies of the patriots during the Revolu- 
tionary War, her father having been the colonel of the Third North Caro- 
lina Regiment, the same in which Doctor Houston's father had served in the 
capacity of captain. Dr. William Houston became one of the leading planta- 
tion owners in the Shelby ville neighborhood, a large slave-holder and an 
extensive breeder of cattle. Russell P. Whiteside was a Whig and a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church, the sterling character of the man being 
attested by the fact that he had been an elder in the Presbyterian church for 
some time previous to his death, at the early age of twenty-eight. To him 
and his wife two children were born, the subject of this biographical sketch 
having had a sister, Annie, who married William E. Hutchinson, partner of 
his brother, C. C. Hutchinson, founder of the city of Hutchinson, this county. 
Uix)n the death of Russell P. W^hiteside his widow married, secondly, George 
T. Hutton, a farmer of Bedford county, Tennessee, who died about 1890, 
and to this second union three children were born, Emmette, Samuel and 
Leota, the latter of whom married Doctor Conn, and all of whom reside in 
Hutchinson. 

Houston Whiteside was reared at Shelbyville, Tennessee, his elementary 
education being received in a private school there, the same being supple- 
mented by a course in Shelbyville College, which was interrupted by the 
military activities in that section during the Civil War, during which time 
the schools were closed. After the war, Mr. Whiteside began teaching 
school near Shelbyville and was thus engaged for three years, at the end of 
which time he went to Mississippi, where for a year he operated a cotton 
plantation, after which he entered the law office of his uncle, Thomas C. 
W hiteside, at Shelbyville, where for two years he gave his most studious and 
intelligent attention to the theory* and practice of the law, laying there the 
foundation for the notable success he later was destined to achieve in the 
practice of that exacting profession. In the spring of 1872 Mr. Whiteside 
came to Kansas and on May 16, of that year, arrived at Hutchinson, which 
had been platted the year before and which at the time of his arrival con- 
sisted of but a few shanties. Recognizing immediately the need of a proper- 
medium of expression for the promotion of the interests of the promising 
town site, Mr. Whiteside, in connection with Perry Brothers, of Miami 
county, this state, founded the Hutchinson News, he taking editorial direc- 
tion of the same. The next year, 1873, he bought the interests of his part- 
ners and oi>erated the paper alone until 1875, in which year he sold the same. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 20/ 

the growing interests of his already extensive law practice demanding his 
undivided attention. In November, of the year of his arrival in Hutchinson, 
Mr. Whiteside was elected county attorney for Reno county and was re- 
elected in 1874. From the time he retired from editorial direction of the 
Hutchinson News until the time of his practical retirement from practice, in 
1907, Mr. Whiteside occupied a very high place at the bar of Reno county 
and from the first was recognized by both the bench and bar of this section 
as a vigorous and useful force in affairs. From the date of its organization, 
more than thirty years ago, he has been the president of the Reno County Bar 
Association and in every way has labored to maintain the high dignity of the 
bar in this county. Though most of the time Mr. Whiteside has conducted 
his practice alone, he from time to time has been associated in partnership 
with W. H. Gleason, A. C. Malloy, W. E. Hutchinson and James McKinsty. 
Mr. Whiteside is a Republican and from the time of his arrival in this 
county has given close attention to the political affairs of the community 
and of the state at large, though never having been a candidate for office, 
his large law practice having required all his time. For several terms, how- 
ever, he served as city attorney, under appointment of the city council, in 
which public capacity he performed excellent service, and for twenty-five 
years was district attorney for the Santa Fe system. Frequently, Mr. White- 
side has been a delegate to state and congressional conventions of his party 
and has been regarded as a useful factor in Kansas politics. He also has 
given his close attention to business affairs and helped to organize the Hutch- 
inson Commercial Club in 1892. He was president of the first flour-mill 
company in Hutchinson and for years was president of the Water, Light 
and Power Company aiid at different times has been actively connected with 
various real-estate and banking companies, though not now thus actively 
connected. He still owns the quarter of a section of land which he pre- 
empted near Hutchinson, on the west, and is the owner of other valuable 
farm lands. 

On February 22, 1889, Houston Whiteside was united in marriage to 
Julia Clementine Latimer, who was boi*n at Jackson, Tennessee, daughter of 
Cliarles Latimer and wife. Charles Latimer was a Virginian, who was grad- 
uated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and for many 
years was an officer in the United States navy. During the Civil War he 
^as federal superintendent of railroads, located at Jackson, Tennessee, and 
after the war took service in the engineering department of the Lake Shore 
railroad, which company he served for some years as chief engineer, with 



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208 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

headquarters at Cleveland, Ohio, later going to the Erie Railroad Company, 
in the same capacity, and died in Cleveland in 1887. 

To Houston and Julia C. (Latimer) Whiteside two children have been 
bom, a son and a daughter. Houston, Jr., born in 1891, graduated from the 
United States Military Academy at West Point in 19 12 and served as an 
officer in the Twenty-third Regiment, United States Infantry, until his resig- 
nation in 1914, since which time he has been giving his attention to his 
father's extensive business interests in and about Hutchinson; and Ada, 1893, 
who supplemented her schooling in the public schools of Hutchinson by a 
course in a finishing school for young women at Greenwich, Connecticut, 
and married Wirt Morton, superintendent of the Morton Salt Company, of 
Hutchinson. The Whitesides live in a handsome and hospitable home at 
504 Sherman street, east, in the city of Hutchinson. Mr. and Mrs. White- 
side are members of the Episcopal church, of which Mr. Whiteside was a 
vestryman for many years and senior warden for twenty years. He has been 
chancellor of the diocese since its organization and takes a warm interest in 
church affairs. He is a member of the Masons, the Knights of Pythias and 
the Anti-Horse Thief Association. Mrs. Whiteside is highly accomplished in 
music and has done much to promote music in Kansas. She is well known 
as the finest vocalist in the state and one of the best amateur singers in the 
whole country. 



JOEL M. ANDERSON. 



Joel M. Anderson, son of William D. and Sarah I. (Louder) Anderson, 
was born in Guilford county. North Carolina, April 16, 1841. His parents 
were natives of North Carolina and were of Scotch ancestry. His father 
was a pioneer minister of the Wesleyan Methodist church. Reared in a 
state where slavery existed he disapproved strongly of the system and,, with 
a view of getting himself and family from its blighting influences, he removed 
to Henry county, Indiana, in 185 1. He remained there until about 1858, 
when he removed to Decatur county, Iowa, where he continued to make his 
home during the remainder of his life. He died in February, 1890, and 
his wife survived him less than a week. 

Joel M. Anderson, the subject of this sketch, died at his home in Hutch- 
inson, Kansas, December 18, 191 1. He had the following brothers and 
sisters: Rhoda, deceased, married W. H. Sanford, of Leon, Iowa; Mary 
A. married J. P. Dunn, of Abbeyville, Kansas; William S., a farmer, of 



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JOEL M. ANDERSON. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 209 

Ringgold, Iowa; Irene married Peter Deck, of Abbeyville, Kansas; Solomon, 
a member of the Third Iowa Cavalry in the Civil War, died in the service 
in Louisville, Kentucky; John C, a farmer, at Kennard, Indiana; Isaac B., 
a farmer, at Cadiz, Indiana. 

Joel M. Anderson was educated in the district schools of Henry county, 
Indiana, and Decatur county, Iowa. He remained at home working on the 
farm until he reached his majority. He then rented a farm in Decatur 
county, Iowa, and afterward bought a small farm in that county which he 
cultivated until the fall of 1873, when he removed to Reno county, Kansas, 
where he located a homestead claim on the northwest quarter of section 34, 
township 23, range 8, and during the fall and winter of 1873 broke sod 
preparatory to spring planting. In the spring he rented some other land 
that had been broken the preceding year and planted forty acres in com, but 
he lost his entire crop by the grasshopper scourge that devasted that section 
that year. Having nothing left, like many other settlers, he had to leave 
his claim and seek some other location to obtain a living for himself and 
family. He returned to his former home in Iowa where he spent the winter 
working with his tearh at one dollar per day. In the spring of 1875 he 
returned to Kansas to make another effort to raise a crop. He planted only 
a small acreage of wheat because he did not have enough money to purchase 
seed for a larger acreage. The grasshopper plague had abated and he was 
able to realize a fair return for his labor that year. His first house was a 
one-story, fourteen by sixteen, in which he lived for several years, until he 
was able to enlarge and imorove it. He was engaged in general farming 
and stock raising until September, 1888, when he removed to Hutchinson to 
assume the duties of the office of county treasurer, to which he had been 
elected. 

Mr. Anderson was elected to the office of county commissioner in 1885, 
for a term of one year, from the third district. This was to fill a vacancy 
in that office. On the expiration of that term he was re-elected for the full 
term of three years, but he resigned the office of commissioner to accept the 
office of county treasurer, to which he w^as elected in the fall of 1887. He 
served for two terms, of two years each, in the latter office, being re-elected 
in the fall of 1889. He was elected police judge of Hutchinson, in 1895, 
and served in that capacity for two years. He was also township trustee 
for three years, and one of the organizers of school district No. 58, and 
served as treasurer of the school board for nine years. In the discharge of 
these various official duties he was always prompt, efficient and reliable, and 
(14a) 



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2IO RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

commanded the approbation and the esteem of the community which he 
faithfully served. His official record is without criticism or reproach. His 
public honors always came to him unsought, his fellow citizens calling him to 
office because they recognized his trustworthiness and ability. 

After retiring from office Mr. Anderson engaged in the real-estate and 
insurance business, and also engaged as administrator of estates and guardian 
of minor heirs. In this capacity his superior business judgment, his unques- 
tioned integrity in handling public and private interests, gave assurance that 
business entrusted to him would be carefully handled and honestly accounted 
for. His entire life was in harmony with his profession — honorable, straight 
and upright — and was crowned with the high degree of success which is ever 
accorded sterling worth. 

On August 8, 1863, Mr. Anderson enlisted in Company C, Ninth Iowa 
Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Drummond, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 
with whom he served for two years. This regiment served in Missouri and 
Arkansas, guarding wagon trains and doing much scouting and escort duty. 
On account of disability from hard service and exposure, Mr. Anderson was 
discharged at the end of two years. 

Joel M. Anderson was married, July 31, 1862, in Iowa, to Sarah A. 
Chambers, a daughter of Daniel E. and Elizabeth ((Brinneman) Chambers. 
Mrs. Anderson was born in Pennsylvania, September 8, 1844. Her father 
was born in Pennsylvania, June 21, 1816. He was a farmer, owning one 
hundred and sixty acres of cultivated land and forty acres of timber land, 
near Leon, Iowa, where he settled in 1848. In 1850 Mr. Chambers was 
attracted by prospects in gold mining in California and went on the long 
journey across the plains to seek his fortune in that state. After two years 
of indifferent success he returned to his Iowa home and resumed his farm- 
ing operations. In 1893 he came with his wife to Hutchinson to live with 
his daughter, Mrs. Joel M. Anderson. He died here, September 8, 1905. 
He had been blind for about twenty years. Mr. Chambers had been a suc- 
cessful farmer and took great pride in his farm, and in the raising and care 
of fine horses. His wife was born in Pennsylvania, February 25, 1816, and 
died in Hutchinson, June 4, 1894. Both were prominent members of the 
Methodist church. 

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Joel M. Anderson are: Austin, born 
in Pennsylvania, March 29, 1841, was a soldier in the Civil War, serving six 
months, died in Lyoden, Washington territory, January 17, 1889; Mary 
Ellen, born in Pennsylvania, December 2, 1847, married George T. Chandler, 
a farmer, living at Armour, South Dakota; Emma Jane, born near Leon, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 211 

Iowa, ilay 29, 1858, died June 16, 1869; Amos, bom near Leon, Iowa, 
October 16, 1854, is a farmer and stock raiser at Leon, Iowa. 

The children bom to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are: William A., a 
farmer of Reno county; Ida L. married M. Wilmot; Cora married John S. 
Dauber, of Whitewater, Kansas; Bertha married Walter Meade, of Hutchin- 
son, Kansas. 

Mr. Anderson was an active and prominent member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, having served as a member of the official board, and in 
the work of the Sunday school, in which he was a teacher in the country. 
He was a member of Joe Hooker Post, Grand Army of the Republic. He 
was also a supporter of the Hutchinson Young Men's Christian Association. 
Politically, he was identified with the Republican party, having served on the 
county central committee, and was frequently a delegate to the conventions 
of his party. Mrs. Anderson is a member of the Woman's Christian Tem- 
perance Union, and the Woman's Relief Corpus, auxiliary to the Grand Army 
of the Republic. The family residence is one of the handsome homes of 
Hutchinson, located at 517 Third avenue, east. 



PETER A. NELSON. 



Peter A. Nelson, well-known hardware merchant at Hutchinson, this 
county, is a native of Sweden, having been born near the village of Elmholt, 
in the district of Smaalene, in that kingdom, on January 4, 1864, son of 
John and Nellie Nelson, both natives of the same district, farmers there, 
who, in 1869, emigrated with their two small sons, John W., now president 
of the Nelson Manufacturing Company, of Hutchinson, this county, and 
Peter A., the subject of this sketch, to America, locating for a short time at 
Rockford, Illinois, where John Nelson worked at such labor as his hands 
could find to do. 

fn 1872, the year after the organization of Reno county, the Nelsons 
came to Kansas, settling in this county, where John Nelson pre-empted eighty 
acres of land in Lincoln township, on the present site of the village of Dar- 
low. He presently sold that homestead and bought a quarter of a section in 
the same township, two miles west of his original place, where he made his 
home for some time. He then bought a farm in Castleton township, during 
the eighties, later buying a quarter of a section in Reno township, south of 
the town of South Hutchinson, on which he lived until the time of his retire- 



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212 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 









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ment from the active labors of the farm, after which he moved into Hutch- 
inson, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, his death 
occurring in 1909. His widow survived him three years, her death occur- 
ring in 1912. During their residence in Sweden, the Nelsons were mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church, but upon coming to this county, in the absence 
of a Lutheran congregation with which to worship, Mrs. Nelson joined the 
Methodist church. 

Peter A. Nelson was five years of age when he came to America with 
his parents and was eight years of age when they came to this county in 
1872. He, consequently, has been a witness of the wonderful development 
of this region since those pioneer days and his recollection of the hardships 
and privations which the original settlers of this county had to endure in the 
days of grasshoppers and droughts is very vivid. He grew up on the farm, 
manfully assisting his father in the development of the same and when his 
father moved from Castleton to Reno township he gave Peter A. the former 
quarter-section farm as a reward for his faithfulness and industry. Mr. 
Nelson lived on this farm for one year, at- the end of which time, in 1886, 
he went to Finney county, where, in the Garden City neighborhood, he 
homesteaded and then commuted a tract of land, which he still owns and the 
next year returned to his Castleton township place. In 1889 he joined his 
brother, John W., in South Hutchinson, where they engaged in the retail 
hardware business, the next year moving their store to Hutchinson, locating 
the same in the Rock Island block, where they conducted their business quite 
successfully for a time, and finally locating at North Main street, which 
three-story building they purchased, and where they greatly enlarged the 
capacity of their business and at the same time engaged in the manufacture 
of galvanized tanks, building up an extensive business in the same. In IQ09 
this partnership was dissolved, i*eter A. Nelson retaining the store and his 
brother, John W., taking the nmnufacturing end of the business, which he is 
still o])erating. Mr. Nelson's hardware store is one of the best equipped 
stores in Hutchinson, fittings and fixtures l)eing up-to-date and stock com- 
plete. 

In 1899 Peter A. Nelson was united in marriage to Hilma Anderson, 
who was lx)rn in Sweden, daughter of Carl and Mary Anderson, both now 
deceased, and who came with them to America when she was a small girl, 
the family settling in Wisconsin, later coming to Kansas, and to this union 
one child has been born, Celestine, born in 1901. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson 
have a very pleasant home at 428 Avenue A, east. 

Mr. Nelson is a Republican in national affairs, but in local elections is 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 2x3 

more inclined to give his preference to the men he thinks best fitted for the 
office, regardless^ of party distinctions. He is a thirty-second-degree Mason, 
a member of the- blue lodge at Hutchinson and of the consistory at Wichita. 
He also is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and of the* Indepen- 
dent Order of Odd Fellows and in all of these organizations takes a warm 
interest. 



FRANK M. McDERMED. 

As an example of what energy, pluck, perseverance and thrift, coupled 
with an inherent shrewdness of thought and habit, may accomplish in the 
life of one man, the following interesting bit of biography, the life history 
of one of the most successful business men in Kansas, well deserves a prom- 
inent place in these pages. In Reno county, few men are better known than 
Frank M. McDermed, merchant and capitalist, of Hutchinson, and it is to a 
brief review of his successful career since arriving in Hutchinson in 1887, 
a poor boy, but eighteen years of age, that these lines are addressed. 

Frank M. McDermed was lx)rn in Roanoke City, Virginia, October 4, 
1869, son of Oliver and Mary (Barnes) McDermed, the former of whom, 
born in that same city in 1830, son of William McDermed, a prosperous 
merchant, died in Arkansas, November 11, 1886, and the. latter, born in 
Roanoke county, Virginia, in 1835, died in Hutchinson, this county, January 
rj, 1914. 

Oliver McDermed was reared to the mercantile business and upon 
reaching manhood became proprietor of a store at Roanoke City. Some 
years before the Civil War period he moved to Richmond, Virginia, and 
there engaged in business, becoming the proprietor of a large store. When 
the war between the states broke out, he enlisted in the cause of the Confed- 
erate states and served valiantly during that fratricidal struggle in the army 
of his great general, Rol>ert E. Lee. At the close of the war, he found 
himself bankrupt, his business in Richmond having been destroyed during 
the time of the Federal occupation of that city, and after struggling along 
ineffectually for a few years in Roanoke City, decided to try his fortunes 
anew in the West. In 1872 he removed, \s\\\\ his family to Lonoke, Arkan- 
sas, where he and his son-in-law, '*Bud'' HoUoway, engaged in cotton plant- 
ing with some measure of success, though, after the death of Oliver Mc- 
Dermed, in 1886, there was not much left when his estate was settled. Oli- 
ver McDermed and his wnfe were the parents of eight children, as follow : 



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214 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

William E., formerly a mercliant at Los Angeles, California, now a com- 
mercial traveler there; Laura, who died, unmarried, in 1876; John A., a 
well-known farmer of this county; Robert F., engaged in the real-estate busi- 
ness in Hutchinson, a biographical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in 
this volume; Luton, a well-known grocer in Hutchinson; Annie, now de- 
ceased, who -married "Bud'' Holloway; Frank M., the immediate subject of 
this sketch, and James E., merchant, manufacturer, speculator and promoter, 
of Hutchinson, this county. 

Frank M. McDermed was three years of age when his family moved 
from Virginia to the Arkansas plantation and was seventeen years of age 
when his father died. During the life on the plantation conditions necessi- 
tated the labor of all hands and he had little time for schooling, he having 
had the advantage of attendance at but three terms of district school during 
the time he lived there. When he was eighteen years of age he and his 
widowed mother and such of the younger children as had not yet left home 
came to this county and settled in Hutchinson, where he received the further 
advantage of attendance at three terms of the common school, his vacations 
being spent at work in a plumbing shop. In 1890, he being then twenty- 
one years of age, Frank M. McDermed decided to go into business on his 
own account and oi>ened a grocery store at 213 South Main street, which he 
operated quite successfully, continuing to occupy that same location until 
1905, in whicli year he sold it and a poultry yard he had established in 1898 
to his brothers, Luton and James E., after which he started a new grocery 
and hardware store at 519-27 South Main street, where he is still in busi- 
ness, in connection with this establishment also conducting a large retail 
coal yard. 

It is not too much to say that Frank M. McDermed has become quite a 
capitalist. When he arrived in Hutchinson, in 1887, he was a poor boy, 
with but little education, but possessed of a natural aptitude for business 
and has made money at every turn. Mr. McDermed is interested in many 
enterprises in and about Hutchinson, in addition to his extensive commercial 
establishment. He was one of the promoters of the Rorabaugh- Wiley build- 
ing, the only eight-story office building in the city of Hutchinson, and was 
one of the original owners and promoters of Riverside Park. He is largely 
interested in farms in Arkansas, Texas and Oregon and is a director of the 
Reno State Bank, a director of the Fontron Loan and Trust Company and 
a director of the Haven Milling Company, and from 1896 to 1903 was 
largely engaged in raising cattle in this county. 

In civic affairs also Mr. McDermed has shown his intelligent interest 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 215 

and has found time from his extensive commercial and financial pursuits to 
give considerable attention to the public service. He is a Democrat and 
served as a member of the Hutchinson city council from 1903 to 1910, in 
which latter year the commission form of government for that city was 
inaugurated, he being one of the first city commissioners. An interesting 
item in connection with Mr. McDermed's large holdings in Hutchinson is 
the statement that he is the owner of the oldest building now standing in 
Hutchinson, a stone building located at 15 South Main street, which was 
erected in 1872 and was constructed from stone hauled all the way from 
Newton, which at that time was the terminus of the Santa Fe railroad, there 
being then no railroad in Hutchinson. Mr. McDermed is a member of the 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and takes a warm interest in the 
affairs of that popular order. 

On February 14, 191 5, Frank M. McDermed was united in marriage to 
Clara Teter, who was born and reared in Hutchinson, a daughter of James 
L. Teter, who is now a grocer at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 



ALBERT P. DIXON. 



The Dixon family has been actively connected with the affairs of Reno 
county since the days of the beginning of a social order hereabout, Albert 
P. Dixon, a well-known and progressive young farmer of Salt Creek town- 
ship, this county, being a grandson of Nathaniel Dixon, a Hoosier, who 
came to Reno county in 1872, the year following the first permanent settle- 
ment made in the county, and son of the late Cyrus N. Dixon, who for years 
was regarded as one of the leading farmers of Enterprise tovsmship. 

Nathaniel Dixon was born in Indiana and became a well-to-do farmer 
of the Aurora neighborhood in that state. He married lantha Hoard and 
continued making his home near Aurora until 1872, in which year he and 
his family, his wife and five young children, came to Kansas, locating in 
Reno county, where, in Enterprise township, he homesteaded a tract of 
land, being among the ver>' earliest of the settlers of this county and the 
second or third to settle in Enterprise township. When he erected his 
humble home on his homestead there was not another house to be seen in 
any direction from that point, nor was there a tree iti sight, while vast herds 
of buffalo still were roaming the prairies hereabout, providing ample sup- 
plies of meat for the family larder. Nathaniel Dixon speedily proceeded to 



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2l6 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

make a home on the prairie and soon had things in habitable shape. He 
planted a sightly grove on his place and quickly began to be recognized as 
one of the most progressive and energetic of the settlers in that part of the 
county. Nathaniel Dixon kept the postoffice in his home about 1874. His 
sons were active aids to him in the work of creating a new home and all 
grew up sturdy and independent farmers. Nathaniel Dixon and his wife 
were members of the Methodist church and early took their place among 
those who were continually active in good works in their neighborhood. 
In the early eighties he sold his home place to his son, Cyrus N. Dixon, 
and he and his wife went to Oregon, where their last days were spent. 
They w^ere the parents of five children, as follow: Ezra L., who went to 
Oregon and died in Portland, that state; Luella, who married W. T. Hare 
and now lives in the town of Nickerson, this county; Cyrus N., father of 
the subject of this sketch, and Samuel and Michael, both of whom have 
for years been making their homes in Oregon, the latter of whom formerly 
was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, but is now farming m 
Oregon. 

Cyrus N. Dixon was twelve years of age when he came to this county 
with his parents in 1872, and he grew to manhood on the homestead farm 
in Enterprise township. When he came of age he married Annie Warnock, 
who was born in Iowa in 1861 and who came to this county with her par- 
ents when she was a girl, and then he bought the homestead of his father, 
the latter at that time moving to Oregon, and spent the rest of his life there, 
l>ecoraing a very successful farmer. He presently bought an adjoining half 
section of land and at the time of his death on January 11, 1915, was the 
owner of seven hundred and twenty acres of choice land in Enterprise town- 
ship. He was a Democrat, ever taking an active part in local political 
affairs, and he and his wife were earnest members of the Methodist church. 
They were the parents of five children, namely: Albert P., the subject of 
this sketch; lantha, who married Jesse Huckworth and lives on a farm in 
Enterprise township, this county; Lola, married Virgil T. Slifer, a farmer 
of Enterprise; Ray, who is managing the home farm, and Ezra, deceased. 

Albert P. Dixon was born on the old Dixon homestead in Enterprise 
township, this county, on December 17, 1885. He grew to manhood there, 
receiving his elementary education in the district school of that neighbor- 
hood, which he supplemented by a course in the Salt City Commercial Col- 
leo^e at Hutchinson. Following his marriage in 191 1 he bought the old 
Claypool place, the southwest quarter of section 6 in Salt , Creek township 
and moved onto that farm, on which he still makes his home. He has been 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 217 

quite successful in his farming operations and rents additional land from 
his mother, which he is cultivating with profit. 

On July 29, 191 1, Albert P. Dixon was united in marriage to Katy 
Kittle, who was born in Rush county, this state, daughter of Stacy Kittle 
and wife, who now reside in Nickerson, this county, and to this union two 
children have been born, sons, Oscar, who was bom in July, 1912, and 
Harold, in May, 191 5. Mr. and Mrs. Dixon are members of the Methodist 
church and take a proper interest in the good works of their community. 



WILLIAM E. CARR. 



William E. Carr, general manager of the '^Monarch'' mills at Hutchin- 
son, this county, vice-president of the Monarch Milling Company, promi- 
nently connected with the banking and commercial interests bi the city and 
for yt^LTs one of the most active promoters of the best interests of "the Salt 
City," is a Hoosier, a fact of which he has never ceased to be proud, having 
been bom in the village of New Corydon, Jay county, Indiana, February 19, 
1857, son of D. W. and Charlotta (Daugherty) Carr, both natives of that 
same state. 

William E. Carr was reared in his native village, receiving his educa- 
tion in the local schools, and even as a youth started out to make his own 
way in the world. In May, 1877, he came to Kansas, being located for a 
time in Hutchinson, then a village of promising proix)rtions, but still bear- 
ing all the evidences of its recent origin, and while there worked in various 
capacities for the Santa Fe Railroad Company. In 1881 he was sent by 
that company to Garden City, this state, to edit a newspaper, the Irrigator, 
which the railroad company had financed for the purpose of **booming ' the 
sale of lands thereabout. In 1883 Mr. Carr moved to Ellinwood, this state, 
where he was engaged in editing and publishing the Ellinwood Express 
(now known as the Advocate) until 1887, in which year he moved to Great 
Bend to take the position of bookkeeper in the office of the Great Bend 
mills, owned by Hume & Kelly. In 1897 Mr. Carr and William Kelly, of 
the above firm, came to this coimty and erected the "Monarch'' mills at 
Hutchinson. In 1905 Mr. Kelly sold his interest in the flour-mill to N. B. 
Sawyer, who, with Mr. Carr,, H. A. and K. B. Sawyer and R. E. Carr, 
organized the Monarch Milling Company, incorporated, and which is doing 
a very flourishing^ business. Upon the entrance of the Sawyer interest into 



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2l8 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

the milling company, N. B. Sawyer was elected president of the company, 
and Mr, Carr vice-president and general manager, Mr. Carr having had 
practically entire management of the mill ever since it was erected. It is 
universally acknowledged that the product of the '^Monarch" mills is as fine 
as there is made in Kansas. The plant has a daily capacity of six hundred 
and fifty barrels and the flour is shipped to all parts of the United States, 
in addition to which the company enjoys a considerable export trade. The 
^'American Lady'' brand of flour manufactured by this company is its lead- 
ing brand and is known in all parts of the country. 

Not only has Mr. Carr given his most thoughtful and intelligent atten- 
tion to his milling business, but he has taken an active part in several other 
enterprises of a local character and is known as one of Hutchinson's most 
representative business men, being a stockholder in the Commercial National 
Bank, First National Bank and numerous other concerns. 

In 1886 William E. Carr was united in marriage to Alice Jacobs, who 
was born in Union county, Ohio, and to this union one son has been born, 
Ralph E., who is associated with his father in the milling business. Mr. 
and Mrs. Carr are members of the First Presbyterian church, in the various 
beneficences of which they take an active interest, and Mr. Carr is a member 
of the Modern Woodmen and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 
He and his son are active members of the Hutchinson Country Club, and the 
latter is an enthusiastic golfer. 



JOSEPH P. FARLEY. 



Joseph P. Farley, superintendent of mails in the postoffice at Hutchin- 
son, this county, and one of the best-known citizens of that city, is a native 
of Pennsylvania, having been born in Tamaqua, that state, June 15, i860, 
son of Michael and Ann (Colum) Farley, the former a native of Ireland 
and the latter of England, both of whom are now deceased. 

Michael Farley was born in County Cavan, Ireland, and came to the 
United States with his widowed mother when four years of age. The 
widow Farley settled in Tamaqua, in the heart of the Pennsylvania coal 
field, and there Michael grew to manhood, early becoming a miner, which 
vocation he followed all the active years of his life. He died there on Octo- 
ber 30, 1875, and his widow later moved to Philadelphia, where she died in 
November, 1910. She was bom in St. Helens, England, and had come to 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 219 

this country when a girl with her parents. There were ten of these chil- 
dren, all of whom are living save two, Thomas having died when eighteen 
years old and Catherine when four, those besides the subject of this sketch 
(all residents of Philadelphia) being as follow : James C, a railroad con- 
tractor; Mary, widow of Thomas Mundy; Daniel, Michael, Sarah, who 
married Jacob Borrell, a brick mason; Margaret, who married William 
Blaich, superintendent of circulation in the office of one of the Philadelphia 
newspapers, and Connor, insi^ector of upholstery for the Pennsylvania rail- 
road. 

Joseph P. Farley was reared at Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, and received 
his schooling there. He "grew up" in the coal mints and worked there 
until he was seventeen years old, when, in 1877, about two years after his 
father's death, he went to Indiana and was engaged in farming in the Terre 
Haute neighborhood for ten years, at the end of which time he came to Kan- 
sas, arriving at Hutchinson on November 21, 1887. The Crystal Salt Com- 
I pany of that city had been organized by Terre Haute men and Mr. Farley 

was engaged as for^nan of that company's plant, a position" he held for 
four years. He then engaged in the grocery business and two years later 
j received an appointment as letter carrier in the Hutchinson postoffice. For 

I fifteen years Mr. Farley faithfully performed the duties of postman and 

' then was advanced to the position of clerk, which he held for five years, or 

until his appointment to the position of superintendent of mails in 1912, 
which position he still occupies. Mr. Farley is a Democrat and has ever 
given a good citizen's attention to political affairs. 

On January i, 1890, at Nevada, Missouri, Joseph P. Farley was united 
in marriage to Hannah Rukes, who was born near Brazil, in Clay county, 
Indiana, not far from Terre Haute, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Hoff- 
inan) Rukes, both natives of Clay county, Indiana, the former of whom is 
still living, now a resident of Brazil, Indiana, and to this union six children 
have been bom, namely : Anna E., who married Ralph J. Chesney, a freight 
derk for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad, stationed at Kansas 
City, Missouri: James N., an attorney-at-law at Hutchinson; Helen, who 
married Fred Danielson, baggage master at the Rock Island railroad depot 
at Hutchinson ; Edna, a graduate of the Hutchinson high school, and Mar- 
garet and Joseph P., Jr., who are still in school. The Parleys have a plea- 
^nt home at 516 B avenue, east, and are quite comfortably situated. Mr. 
Fariey is a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a member of the Modern Woodmen of 
America and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and in the affairs 
of all these organizations takes a wann interest. 



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220 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

FRED W. THORP. 

Fred W. Thorp, a prosperous lumber and coal dealer in Haven, this 
county, a large landowner, first postmastet of the town of Haven, editor of 
the first newspaper published in that town, founder of the bank established 
in Haven, former mayor of the town and who in other ways has been 
actively identified with the promotion of the best interests of that flourishing 
little city, is a native of Wisconsin, having been bom in Washington county, 
that state, April 22, i860, son of the Hon. Frederick O. and Maria (French) 
Thorp, the former of whom was born in Massachusetts and the latter in 
Connecticut, who emigrated to Wisconsin with their respective parents, the 
former in 1831 and the latter in 1832, Wisconsin then being unorganized as 
a state, existing merely as a p^rt of the great Northwest Territory. Fred- 
erick O. Thorp and his wife were members of the Congregational church. 
They were the parents of three children, the subject of this sketch having 
had two brothers, George H., a promising lawyer, who died at the age of 
twenty-six, and Herman S., who died in early youth. 

Fred W. Thorp received his elementary education in the schools of 
West Bend and of l^^ond du Lac, Wisconsin, supplementing the same by a 
course in the University of Wisconsin, from the scientific department of 
which excellent institution he was graduated in 1878. The following year 
he came to Kansas, locating in Reno county, where he has ever since made 
his home. For some time after coming to this county, and while getting 
**the lay of the land,'' Mr. Thorp worked on farms in Haven township, and 
in one capacity and another, until 1886, the year in which the town of 
Haven was founded, he began the publication of a newspaper in that prom- 
i;ing village, the Haven Independent, with the purix>se to **boom*' the town, 
and was thus engaged for four or five years, at the end of which time he 
sold the Independent, of which he had made a sprightly and flourishing pub- 
lication. In the meantime he had married and had become the owner of a 
fine farm about one and one-half miles east of Haven, and upon leaving the 
newspaper moved to the farm, where he made his home until 1903, in which 
year he moved back to Haven, where he ever since has made his home and 
where he and his family are very pleasantly and comfortably situated. 

Mr. Thorp was the first postmaster of Haven and from the very begin- 
ning of that thriving town has taken a warm interest in its development. 
Uix>n returning to Haven he organized the Citizens State Bank and was 
elected cashier of the same, a ix)sition he held until he sold his interest in the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 221 

.^J«, in 191 1. He then established his present up-to-date lumber yard, one 
^e best appointed concerns of the kind in the county, where he also 
^^i\dles coal, cement and brick and manufactures cement-block. Since mov- 
^^g back to town, Mr. Thorp has rented his farms, being now the owner of 
^^veral well-tilled tracts of land in this county, and is looked upon as one of 
^he most substantial citizens of the Haven community. He is a Democrat 
^d served as mayor of Haven during the years 191 3 and 19 14. 

In 1889 Fred W. Thorp was united in marriage to Hattie Mount, daugh- 
ter of Cyrus and Mary Mount, who were among the very earliest settlers of 
^eno county, they having located in Haven township in 1871, their daughter, 
^attie, then having been but two years of age, and to this union two chil- 
^''*eij have been bom, George H., who is assisting his father in his business 
office, and Caroline, who is still in school. Mr. Thorp is a Mason, affiliated 
With th^ blue lodge of that order at Haven; with the commandery of the 
^^"ights Templar at Hutchinson and with Midian Temple, Ancient Arabic 
Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Wichita. He also is a member 
the -r\ncient Order of United Workmen and in the affairs of these several 
^^^'^o.l:ions takes a warm interest. 



ISAIAH DANFORD. 



is^^j^j^ Danford, a well-known and prosperous farmer and dairyman of 

^"^/^^^>>vnship, this county, now living retired in the city of Hutchinson, is 

^^^^^ of Ohio, having been born on a farm in Noble county, that state, 

June ^^^ 1841, son of Abraham and Lavina (Bates) Danford, both natives 

^^ same state, the former bom in Belmont county and the latter in 

cr^ounty. 

"^t^raham Danford was reared on a farm and became a successful and 

^^"^^lo farmer in his own right, the owner of two hundred and eighty 

^ ^^f land. He was a Whig in his political belief and for many years 

J. ^^ his township well in the capacity of justice of the peace. He and 

^^ te were members of the Christian church and their children were 

TT- ^*^ in that faith. Abraham Danford lived to be ninety years of age. 

• , ^^ife died ten years previous to his death. They were the parents of 

1 • children, five of whom are still living, those besides the subject of this 

^^^phical sketch l>eing Eli, Elizabeth, who married John Rowe; Nancy, 



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Z22 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

who married Julius Groves, and Roland Jasper, all of whom still live in their 
native county, substantial, well-to-do people. 

Isaiah Dan ford was reared on the paternal farm in Ohio, receiving his 
education in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, and after 
his marriage his father helped him buy a one-hundred-acre farm four miles 
from the old home place. Presently he sold that farm to advantage and 
bought a farm of two hundred and ninety-seven acres in the same county, 
becoming an ej^tensive farmer, and there his ten children were born. In 
1887 he sold his farm in Ohio and came to Kansas with his family, locating 
in Hutchinson, this county, w^here he engaged in the hotel business, operating 
the Noble County Hotel for a year with much success, that being in "boom" 
times. He then traded the hotel for a quarter of a section of land in Reno 
township and moved to the latter place, making his home on that farm for 
four years, at the end of which time he sold the farm and rented a ranch of 
sixteen hundred acres in Cowley county, this state, which he operated for five 
years. He then returned to Reno county and bought a farm of ninety acres 
in Reno township, on which he made his home for two years, at the end of 
which time he bought a dairy farm in South Hutchinson and in 1905 started 
the South Hutchinson Dairy, which he still owns, the same now being 
operated by his son-in-law, Benjamin Myers. In 1907 Mr. Danford and 
his wife retired from the active labors of the farm and moved into Hutch- 
inson, where Mrs. Danford died on November 10, 1909. 

In 1862 Isaiah Danford was united in marriage to Eliza Ellen Groves, 
who was born in Noble county, Ohio, August 16, 1846, daughter of John 
and Matilda Groves, and to this union ten children were bom, all of whom 
are still living, namely: Lincoln, born on July 11, 1866, now operating a 
large janch in Edwards county, this state; Annie, July 8, 1868, who mar- 
ried Benjamin Myers, who conducts the South Hutchinson Dairy; Eli Frank- 
lin, September 9, 1869, a large farmer in Reno township, this county; Will- 
iam Collins, May 25, 1871, an extensive farmer in Oklahoma; Lavina Delia. 
Octoljer 19, 1872, who married L. S. Kent, a well-known auctioneer, of 
Hutchinson; Louis P., January Q, 1874, a well-to-do farmer of Reno town- 
ship, this county; Mary Ahce, January 31, 1876, who married A. T. Mou- 
pin, proprietor of the "Sunflower'- dairy in South Hutchinson; Carrie May, 
January 2y, 1878, who married Robert Carlisle, a merchant of Stafford, 
this state; Rosanna, August 17, 1880, who married Patrick Hamilton and 
lives in South Hutchinson, and Ella, October 30, 1882, who married Rich- 
ard Kennedy and lives at Haven, this county. The Dan fords are all doing 
well in their several undertakings and all are held in high regard in their 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 223 

respective communities. Mr. Danford is a Republican and ever has given a 
good citizen's attention to local political affairs, though never an aspirant 
for office. He has many friends in Hutchinson and throughout the county 
and is held in high regard by all. 



HERBERT E. RAMSEY. 



County Attorney Herbert E. Ramsey, an active and popular young 
lawyer, of Hutchinson, county seat of this county, is a native of Reno 
county, having been born on a farm in Reno township, December 26, 1885, 
the only son of Enoch M. and Nellie D. (Belfour) Ramsey, both natives of 
Illinois, and both of whom are still living in this county. 

Enoch M. Ramsey owned a farm in Hancock county, Illinois, when he 
was married, but in 1882 he and his wife decided to come farther West 
and came to Kansas, locating near Larned, where they bought three quarter 
sections, but not being satisfied with that location shortly afterward disposed 
of their place and came to Reno county, buying three quarter sections in 
Reno township, which has been their home ever since and where they have 
prospered- largely. Mr. Ramsey still gives close attention to the general 
management of his place, though practically retired from the active labors 
of the same. He and his wife have a pleasant home at 633 Sherman street, 
east, in Hutchinson, where Mrs. Ramsey makes her home most of the time 
with her son, the subject of this sketch, and Mr. Ramsey alternates his time 
between his town house and the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey are active 
members of the Presbyterian church, in the various beneficences of which 
^ey take much interest, and Mr. Ramsey is a Democrat and a member of 
the Masonic order. 

Herbert E. Ramsey was reared on the home farm in Reno township, 
receiving his elementary education in the district school in that neighbor- 
hood, after w^hich he entered the high school at Hutchinson, from which he 
\^as graduated with the class of 1906. He then entered the law office of 
Hettinger & Hettinger and after a course of reading there, entered the law 
department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which he 
was graduated in 1910. Upon receiving his diploma, Mr. Ramsey returned 
to Hutchinson, was admitted to the bar and began the practice of his pro- 
fession. He was appointed assistant county attorney under E. T. Foote 
and for four years was thus engaged, acquitting himself so satisfactorily in 



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224 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

that position that in 19 14 he was elected county attorney and is now serving 
in that imix)rtant office, his administration of the affairs of which is giving 
general satisfaction to the public. 

Mr. Ramsey is an active, energetic young lawyer, pubHc spirited and 
enterprising and is very popular in his large circle of friends throughout the 
county generally. He is a member of the Presbyterian church and takes 
a warm interest in all good works hereabout. 



JOHN A. MYERS. 



John A. Myers, a well-known retired farmer and cattleman, is a veteran 
of the Civil War and a native of Ohio, having been born in Harrison county, 
that state, on July 28, 1840, son of James R. and Maria (Romney) Myers, 
both natives of Pennsylvania. James Myers moved from Pennsylvania to 
Ohio after he was grown and there was married. For some time he owned 
and operated a farm in Harrison county, that state, but in 1852 he sold that 
farm and moved to Tuscarawas county, same state, where he bought another 
farm on which he made his home until later when he moved to Uhrichsville, 
death occurring in 1877, ^^ ^^^ ^S^ ^^ eighty-one years. His wife had died 
some years previously. They were members of the Presbyterian church 
during their residence in Harrison county, but after moving to Tuscarawas 
county joined the Moravian church. To James Myers and wife fifteen chil- 
dren were born, as follow: Hiram, who died in Los Angeles, California; 
Mrs. Melissa Welshimer, who died at her home in Hutchinson, this county, 
in 1913, at the age of ninety-one; Harriet; Mary, who died unmarried in 
1895, ^" Hutchinson; Elizabeth, who died in infancy; James, a physician, 
who lived in Hutchinson, until his death in 1915, in his eighty-fifth year; 
Salome, who married a physician at Urbana, Illinois; Mrs. Elvina Smith, 
deceased ; Albert, aged seventy-nine, living in Belville, Kansas, retired ; Alvin, 
who died at the age of twenty-one; John A., the immediate subject of this 
biographical review; Mrs. Martha Anderson, who lives at Muskogee, Okla- 
homa; Jonathan, a dentist, of Troy, Kansas; Minerva, who lives in Cham- 
paign county, Illinois, and Gracilla, who died in childhood. 

John A. Myers completed his elementary education in the public schools 
of Tuscarawas county, having been but twelve years of age when his family 
moved to that county, and supplemented the same by a course in Trenton 
Academy, after which he taught one term of school in the town of Newport, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 225 

in his home county. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, Fifty-first 
R^ment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for service during the Civil War, and 
served until he was mustered out with his regiment in Texas in October, 
1865. I^Js regiment was attached to the Army of the Cumberland and he 
participated in all the great bcittles in which his division of that army was 
engaged, including Chickamauga, Ix)okout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, 
Stone's River and in the Atlanta campaign, aiding in the taking of that 
city, and then at the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and in all this severe 
service never received a wound. 

At the close of the war, John A. Myers returned home and resumed his 
vocation in the school room and for two years taught school in the neighbor- 
hood of his home, during his vacations working on the home farm. In 1867 
he came to Kansas and for a year was engaged in teaching at White Cloud, 
after which he returned to Ohio. He was married in 1871 and went to 
Urbana, Champaign county, Illmois, where he opened a brick factory and 
also operated a private grain elevator. In 1879 he returned to Kansas and 
for a time stopped at Hutchinson, but did not then make that place his 
permanent place of abode, instead going on to Doniphan county, where for 
three years he conducted a general store in the village of Leona. In 1882 
he returned to Hutchinson and there he has resided ever since. Upon his 
arrival in Hutchinson, Mr. Myers at once became a prominent factor in the 
development of the cattle business hereabout. He engaged extensively in 
the buyiifg and selling of cattle and was one of the first men to ship cattle 
from this section. In 1884 he bought a farm in Reno township, where he 
lived until 1907, in which year he returned to Hutchinson and retired from 
the more active pursuits, though still continuing, more or less, his activities 
in the real-estate market in which he had been engaged from the time of his 
arrival in this county. Mr. Myers has bought and sold a great deal of real 
estate in his time and has been a heavy investor, coming to be regarded as 
one of the leading capitalists hereabout. He also has given considerable 
attention to various other local enterprises and some of these interests he 
still retains, being now vice-president of the Haines-Miller Wholesale Paint 
Company and a director of the Mutual Building and I^an Association of 
Hutdiinson, 

On May 4, 1871, John A. Myers was united in marriage to Mary L. 
Frediebur, who was bom in Ohio, and to this union six children have been 
bom, namely: Rev. Howard Myers, a minister of the Christian church at 
Qyde, Kansas; Josephine, who died at the age of thirteen months; Jessie, 

(15a) 



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226 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS; 



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who married Arthur Dade and lives in Hutchinson; Frank, a farmer, of 
Reno township, this county; Ernest, a civil engineer at Dallas, Texas, and 
Raymond, of Hutchinson, a well-known traveling salesman. The Myers 
family resides at 113 Avenue B, west, in Hutchinson, a very pleasant and 
hospitable home. 

Mr. Myers is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and for 
years has taken an active interest in the affairs of the local post. He also 
has given much of his attention to the political affairs of the county and 
for seven years served as a member of the board of county commissioners, 
first having been elected on the Populist ticket and then on the Democratic 
ticket. He was a member of the board which directed the erection of the 
present Reno county court house and in such a business-like and economical 
manner were the details of that transaction managed by the board that it 
was unnecessary for the county to float a bond issue to provide for the same, 
a most unusual record of efficiency in the management of the public business. 



FRANK D. HAMILTON. 



Frank D. Hamilton, one of the most progressive farmers of the Part- 
ridge neighborhood in Center township, this county, as well as one of the 
most popular and l>est-in formed men in that section, is a Hoosier, having 
been born in Washington county, Indiana, February 11, 1874, son of Benja- 
min and Miranda (Bryant) Hamilton, both natives of that same county, 
members of pioneer families in southern Indiana, both of whom now are 
deceased. 

Benjamin Hamilton was the son of David Hamilton, one of the early 
settlers of Washington county, Indiana, his parents having come from Ire- 
land and s^^ttled there at an early day in the settlement of that section of 
the Hoosier state. Benjamin Hamilton grew up on the home farm in the 
hills of southern Indiana and, upon reaching manhood's estate, married and 
bought a farm of his own, on which he and his family lived until 1885, '" 
which year he sold the place, and with his family came to Kansas, home- 
steading a farm in F'inney county. Not long after homesteading in Finney 
county, Mr. Hamilton sold a relinquishment of his right and came to Reno 
county, buying a quarter section of land in Center township, a mile west and 
a mile north of the village of Partridge, where he lived until his wife's death 
in June, 1901, at the age of fifty-six years, after which he made his home 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 227 

with his son, the subject of this sketch, the remainder of his life, his death 

occurring on November 9, 1907. Benjamin Hamilton was an excellent 

carpenter and during his residence in this county si>ent most of his time as 

a building contractor, leaving the cultivation of the farm to his sons. He 

did a great deal of carpenter work in Hutchinson and among the buildings 

erected by him in the more immediate neighborhood of his established home 

was the fine school building at Partridge. He was a Democrat and he and 

his wife were members of the Congregational church, in which faith their 

childre-n were reared. Four children were born to them as follow: John, 

who resides on the old home place in Center township ; Addie, now deceased, 

^vV^o married David Brown; Frank D., the subject of this sketch, and Zella, 

^vho married George Coffey and lives in Jackson county, Indiana. 

I^^rank D. Hamilton was eleven years of age when he came with his 

parents to Reno county and completed the course in the schools at Paft- 

'^dge. Until his marriage in 1896 he made his home on his father's farm, 

assisting in the labors of the same, and then for four years rented the Oscar 

*Vesj>^ farm in Center township, making his home there. In the spring of 

^9o^ lie bought the farm he had been renting, erected a new house and barn 

. ^^ c^therwise improved the same and has since made his home there, hav- 

^g" <:>xne of the best-kept and most effectively cultivated fanns in the neigh- 

^^"<^od, among the many improvements being an excellent orchard. In 

. ^^ 3 Mr. Hamilton bought an **eighty*' adjoining his place on the east and 

^^^^>v recognized as one of the most substantial farmers in that section. 

i s a Democrat, though somewhat independent in his political viewsi 

^^^"■~<iing local affairs, voting for the candidates he regards as better fitted 

"^lie duties of the office sought, rather than because of their particular 

^^^3^ affiliation, and ever has taken a good citizen's interest in local civic 

^^'^ ^«^s, though not himself an office seeker. 

V ^ ^n October 14, 1896, Frank D. Hamilton was united in marriage to 

^•-^e Sims, who wsts l)orn in Jackson county, Indiana, daughter of John C. 

Sarah Sims, who left Indiana about 1885 and came to Kansas, locating 

^^ farm in Center township, this county, where Mr. Sims died in 1910 

• /^ "vvhere his widow is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton take an earnest 



j.^ "est in the general affairs of the neighborhood and are held in high 

|j^ Y^^^^^' '^y their many friends thereabout. Mr. Hamilton is a member of the 






^^. ^■'e of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Partridge and takes a 

j^ ^11 interest in the affairs of that popular organization. Mrs. Hamilton 

4^ ^- member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and Ladies Aid 
"^^iety. 



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228 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

JAMP:S WILLIAM SMITH. 

James William Smith, better known to his friends throughout this 
county as "Will'' Smith, a well-known and progressive farmer of Sumner 
township and proprietor of a fine farm in the Haven neighborhood, is a 
native-born Hoosier, but has lived in Reno county since he was eighteen 
years old and is very properly regarded as one of the pioneers of this county. 
He was bom on a farm in Grant county, Indiana, December 31, 1859, only 
son of Tchabod and Mary (Simpson) Smith, both natives of that same state, 
the latter bom in the city of Terre Haute. 

Ichabod Smith grew up on an Indiana farm and after his marriage 
bought a farm in Grant county and was engaged in farming when the Civil 
War broke out. He enlisted for service in Company C, Eighty-ninth Regi- 
ment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served for three years in the Army 
of the Mississippi, seeing much hard service, particularly diu-ing the Red 
River campaign, and was wounded twice. Upon the completion of his 
military service he returned to his farm and later moved to the nearby town 
of Jonesboro, where his wife died in 1874, at the age of thirty-three years. 
Mr. Smith did not remarry and the next year, in November, 1875, he and 
his son. Will, then a sturdy lad of sixteen years, drove through from their 
home in Indiana to Kansas, locating for a time in Sedgewick county. In 
1877 ^^^ came over into Reno county and the elder Smith homesteaded the 
northwest quarter of section 18 in Sumner township, where he and his son 
tlu-ew up a sod house, half dug-out, and began to "bach." Both worked 
side by side in the labor of developing the homestead and prospered from 
the very beginning of their operations. When Will Smith reached his 
majority he bought the relinquishment of a homestead claim to a quarter 
of a section adjoining that of his father and the two thus had in that one 
tract a full half section. In 1883 they began to engage extensively in the 
cattle business, renting additional lands for grazing purposes, and prospered 
largely in this line, continuing in the cattle business until 1895, in which 
year they sold their farms to advantage. Ichabod Smith continued making 
his home in Reno county until 1907, in which year he moved to San Diego, 
Calif omia, where he is now living in comfortable retirement at the age of 
seventy-eight. During his residence in this county he was active in local 
affairs and was one of the leading pioneers of his part of the county. He is 
a Republican and took a prominent part in the councils of his party in this 
county. For eight years he was trustee of Sumner township and in various 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 229 

ways gave the full strength of his influence and energy to the advancement 
of the common gornl. He is a member of the Methodist church. 

After selling his farm in 1895 Will Smith rented other lands and con- 
tinued his farming operations. He married in 1896 and in 1900 bought 
the northwest quarter of section 3 in Sumner township, which he has greatly 
improved and where he ever since has made his home, being regarded as 
one of the most substantial farmers in that neighborhood. He has not gone 
in much for cattle raising of late, but gives considerable attention to the rais- 
ing of Poland China hogs. Mr. Smith takes an earnest interest in neighbor- 
hood affairs and is serving very efficiently as vice-president of the Sumner 
Telephone Association, an organization of farmers in that part of the county. 
He is a Republican and takes a warm interest in civic affairs, but has never 
l>een included in the office-seeking class. 

On February 27, 1896, Will Smith was united in marriage to Miranda 
Eabling, who was born in Mandato, Marshall county, Indiana, in 1871, 
daughter of John F. and Catherine Eabling, who came to Kansas in 1872, 
settling in Harvey county, later coming to Reno county and settling on a 
farm in section 6, Sumner township, where Mr. Eabling spent the remainder 
of his life and where his widow is now living. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith five 
children have been bom, namely: Harold D., born in 1898, now a student 
in the county high school at Nickerson; Ralph E., 1899; Lloyd F., 1901 ; 
Mary C, 1904, and Opal May, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members 
of the United Brethren church and take an active interest in all neighbor- 
hood wood works. 



ADELBERT M. NETTLETON. 

Adelbert M. Nettleton, well-known printer at Hutchinson, former 
editor and proprietor of the Hutddnson Gazette and for years actively 
identified with the printing-trades industry in this state, is a native of Illi- 
nois, born near the town of Woodstock, in McHenry county, that state, July 
27, 1859, son of Henry T. and Jane (Rogers) Nettleton, the former of 
whom was born in Middlesex county, Connecticut, and the latter at Chardon, 
in Geauga county, Ohio. 

Henry T. Nettleton was reared in his native state and learned the trade 
of carpenter and cabinet-maker. When a young man he came West and in 
the earlV fifties located in the neighborhood of Woodstock, the county seat 
of McHenry county, in the northern part of Illinois, northwest of Chicago, 



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230 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

and there remained until October of 1878, when, with his family he came to 
Kansas and settled in Pawnee county, northwest of Larned, where he home- 
steaded the southwest quarter of section 12, township 20, range 19, and 
there established his home, becoming one of the most substantial pioneers 
of that section. • On that homestead farm Henry T. Nettleton spent some 
years, and upon retiring from the active labors of the farm moved to 
Larned, where his death occurred on E>ecember 26, 1893. His widow, who 
still survives, is now making" her home at Hutchinson, where she has lived 
for some years. She and her husband were the parents of six children. 

Adelbert M. Nettleton received his schooling in the schools of Wood- 
stock, Illinois, and in the printing office in that town learned the rudiments 
of **the art preservative of all arts," working at the printer's case there 
until he came with his parents to Kansas in the fall of 1878, he then being 
about nineteen years of age. Shortly after locating in Pawnee county he 
homesteaded a quarter of a section adjoining his father's homestead and also 
entered a claim to a quarter of a section, under the provisions of the timber 
act, and there he engaged in general farming and cattle raising. In 1892 
he and his brother went to Stafford, where they established the Peoples 
Paper y which, in February, 1896, they traded for the Gazette, at Hutchin- 
son, and moved to the latter city. Upon taking charge of the office of the 
Gazette they made numerous iruprovements in the equipment of the plant, 
making it one of the most modern and up-to-date printing plants in central 
Kansas. It was the Nettleton brothers who installed in Hutchinson the first 
type-setting machine seen in that city. The new building which they erected 
for the plant of the Gazette was the first cement-block building constructed 
in Hutchinson and is still standing at 121 Sherman avenue, east. In 1907 
the Nettleton brothers sold the Gazette and since that time Adelbert M. 
Nettleton has continued his active connection with the printing trades in 
Hutchinson, with the Hutchinson News Company. Earl G. Nettleton died 
on July II, 1907. 

During his long connection with the printing business in this state, Mr. 
Nettleton has conic into contact with many of the interesting figures of 
this section of Kansas. Among these may be mentioned Henry Inman, for 
whom Mr. Nettleton worked at Lamed. Henry Inman, who will be remem- 
bered as a writer of stories of the Santa Fe trail, was succeeded in his work 
by Col. Dick Ballinger, whose son, Richard Achilles Ballinger, became 
President Taft's secretary of the interior. While living at Dodge City, 
Mr. Nettleton became acquainted with **Bat" Masterson and his brothers 
and with ''Mvsterious" Dave Mather and D. M. Frost, the latter of whom 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 23 1 

was the proprietor of the first newspaper at that place and afterward was 
register of the land office at Garden City. Mr. Nettleton was an acquaint- 
ance of Mayor Webster, of Dodge City, who became celebrated throughout 
this section for the summary manner with which he dealt with the. crooks 
and ruffians within his jurisdiction. One of the men in whom Mr. Nettle- 
ton was much interested in those days was **Ji"i*' Kelly, an old government 
scout and the owner of the first opera house at Dodge City, known 'in the 
early days as "Kelly's Opera House*'; also Chalk (Chalkley) Beeson, another 
old government scout and for many years leader of the famous Dodge City 
Cowboy Band. Perhaps the earliest pioneer of Ft. Dodge was R. M. 
Wright, who was a post trader at that point and who operated a big out- 
fitting store there before the town was established. Capt. W. H. Strick- 
ler, more commonly known by his pen name of "Julian de Llano," a cele- 
brated writer of Western poetry and songs, was onie of the interesting men 
of those early days at Dodge City, whom Mr. Nettleton recalls with pleasure. 
On October 27, 1910, at Kansas City, Missouri,' Adelbert M. Nettleton 
was united in marriage to Myrtle Dillon, who was born near the city of 
Wheeling, West Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Nettleton have a very pleasant 
home at 517 North Jackson street, where they are very comfortably situ- 
ated. They are members of the Christian church and take a proper interest 
in the various beneficences of the same. Mr. Nettleton is "independent" in 
his political views and has never been a seeker after public office. 



ARTHUR L. SIEGRIST. 



Arthur L. Siegrist, an energetic and progressive young farmer of Salt 
Creek township, tliis county, and one of the best-known men in that section 
of the county, is the third of his generation successfully to engage in agri- 
cuhure in Reno county, his grandfather, the late John Siegrist, who was 
accounted one of the best farmers in the county, having become a large 
landowner here in 1876, and his father, Jacob L. Siegrist, who also has 
lived here since pioneer days, is still one of the leading agriculturists of 
Reno township. In a sketch relating to the latter, presented elsewhere in 
this volume, there is set out the historx^ of the well-known Siegrist family 
in Reno county. 

Arthur L. Siegrist was born on the farm on which he still makes his 
home, July 3, 1880, son of Jacob L. and Abbie A. (Biggs) Siegrist, who 



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232 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

came to this county immediately after their marriage in Tazewell county, 
Illinois, in February, 1877. Mr. Siegrist was reared on the home farm in 
Salt Creek township, receiving his education in the district school in that 
neighborhood, which he supplemented by a course in a business college at 
Great Bend, this state. He remained at home until his marriage, in the 
spring of 1905, after which he rented the paternal acres in Salt Creek town- 
ship, a fine tract of two hundred and forty acres, his father meanwhile 
having moved to the farm of his venerable grandfather in Reno township, 
in order to take over the direction of the latter's extensive affairs, and there 
he has lived ever since, doing very well, having been quite successful both 
as a general framer and as a stock raiser. One hundred and sixty acres of 
his home farm lies in Reno township, the remainder in Salt Creek township, 
and it is in the latter portion that he has his residence, a very comfortable 
and pleasant home, where he and his family live in quiet comfort. In addi- 
tion to this tract, which he rents from his father, he is the owner of an 
adjoining tract of eighty acres in Salt Creek township, which is also profit- 
ably cultivated by him. 

On February 22, 1905, Arthur L. Siegrist was united in marriage to 
Ora MoUie Wildin, who also was born in this county, daughter of William 
and Celia Wildin, Reno county pioneers, now living retired in the city of 
Hutchinson, and to this union four children have been bom, as follow: 
Florence, lx>rn in 1906; Marie, 1908; Helen, 1910, and Russell, 1912. Mr. 
and Mrs. Siegrist are earnest members of the Poplar Methodist Episcopal 
church and are interested in all good works thereabout. Mr. Siegrist is a 
Republican, as were his father and his grandfather before him, and gives 
his thoughtful attention to the political affairs of the county. He is a mem- 
ber of the Modern Woodmen of America and takes a warm personal interest 
in the affairs of that popular fraternal organization. 



GEORGE BARRETT. 



The late George Barrett, one of Reno county's pioneers and an early 
merchant of Hutchinson, who died at his pleasant home in that city on 
November 18, 1910, was a native of the great Empire state. He was born 
at Utica, New York, August 20, 1835, son of Joseph and Mercy (Miller) 
Barrett, whose last days were spent in Utica. Joseph Barrett was a manu- 
facturer of combs. He was twice married. His first wife died when the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 233 

subject of this sketch was a child, leaving two sons, George and Daniel S., 
both now deceased, the latter of whom became a well-known artist at Utica. 
By his second union Joseph Barrett was the father of three sons. He and 
his wife were members of the Presbyterian church and their children were 
reared in that faith. 

George Barrett lived with his father until he was twenty-one years old 
and then went to New York City, where he entered the employ of the D. S. 
Arnold Wholesale Notion Company and was thus engaged for a couple of 
years. He then, in 1859, married and went to Middletown, New York, 
where he established a dry-goods store, which he conducted until 1862, in 
which year he went to Newburg, same state, and was there engaged in the 
grocery business until he sold out in 1873. The next year, in the summer 
of 1874, he and his family came to Kansas and settled in Reno county, 
arriving here on September 15, of that year. Mr. Barrett homesteaded a 
quarter of a section in Lincoln township, his wife's brother, Wilson Purdy, 
having homesteaded a quarter of a section in the same township a few months 
previously. He remained on the farm until he had **proved up" his claim 
and then, in 1877, moved to Hutchinson, where he re-entered the mercan- 
tile business. He put in a stock of groceries in a building on Main street, 
the present site of Zinn's jewelry store, and was engaged in business there 
for a couple of years, at the end of which time, in 1879, he moved to Kansas 
City, Missouri, and established a grocery store there, at 803 Main street, 
where he continued in business until 1884, in which year he sold out there 
and went to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There he engaged in the retail pro- 
duce business, but two years later the state of his health compelled his retire- 
ment from 'business and in 1888 he returned to Hutchinson, built a house 
at 225 A avenue, east, one of the first houses erected on that street, and there 
lived retired until his death in 19 10. His widow is still living there, enjoy- 
ing many evidences of the high regard in which she is held throughout the 
entire community. Mrs. Barrett is a member of the Methodist church and 
for years her husband was a deacon in the same. 

Mrs. Barrett was born Elizabeth Jane Purdy. She is a native of New 
York, having been born in Ulster county, that state, May 10, 1836, daugh- 
ter of John S. and Loretta (Rhodes) Purdy, both natives of New York state. 
John S. Purdy was a wagon- and carriage-maker and moved from Ulster 
county to Newburg, New York, where he carried on his vocation until his 
death in 1863. Elizabeth J. Purdy was given excellent educational advan- 
tages and became a teacher in the New York state school for the blind in 
New York City, where she was thus engaged for three years, or until her 



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234 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

marriage, and during which time she was closely associated with the famous 
blind hymn writer, Fannie Crosby, with whom she roomed for one year. It 
was on April 30, 1859, that she was united in marriage to George Barrett 
and to this union six children were born, as follow: Nelson T., a well- 
known florist at Hutchinson, a biographical sketch of whom is presented 
elsewhere in this volume; Ida M., who married Charles Pellette, of Hutchin- 
son, deputy county treasurer of Reno county; Carrie, who married Homer 
Myers, former treasurer of Reno county, now a banker at Sylvia, this county; 
Grace, who married Henry Zinn, proprietor of a jewelry store at Hutchin- 
son; Minnie, who married M. J. Hosmer, a traveling salesman, of Hutchin- 
son, and Florence, who married Ernest Eastman, who is connected with the 
operations of the Carey Salt Company at Hutchinson. 



WILLIAM JOHNSTON VAN EMAN. 

No history of Reno county w^ould l)e complete without fitting mention 
of the part William Johnston Van Eman and wife took in the early settle- 
ment of that part of Grove township now comprised in Bell township, which 
latter township was named in honor of the late Mrs. Van Eman, whose 
name, Isabella, ever was better known among her friends as **Belle." Will- 
iam J. Van Eman was one of the pioneers of this county and had begun to 
make his impress upon the early life of this section when he fell a victim 
to one of the destructive cyclones which swept this region in the latter 
seventies. His widow and her children kept the home place going and Mrs. 
Van Eman continued to reside on the homestead, a most useful and influen- 
tial member of that community, until her retirement and removal to Hutchin- 
son, where she s[:)ent the remainder of her life, a prominent figure in the 
good works of that city. 

William Johnston \'an Eman was born in Stark county, Ohio, on July 
5, 1825, son of Al>raham and Mary (Johnston) Van Eman. He was a 
business man in early life, a farmer after he came west. He married Isa- 
belle Davis, who was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, March 8, 183 1, 
daughter of Robert and Hannah (Jameson) Davis. In 1852 he moved- to 
Richland county, Ohio, where he lived until 1857, in which year he moved 
to Ogle county, Illinois, where he remained ten years, moving thence, in 
1867, to Stephenson county, same state, where he remainder until he came 
to Kansas and settled in Reno county in 1874. It was on February 27, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 235 

1874, that Mr. Van Eman and family arrived in Hutchinson, then but a 
strag-gling village on the dreary plain. Leaving his family in the village, 
Mr. Van Eman started out seeking a location and within the month had 
filed on the southeast quarter of section 6 in Grove township, that section 
now being a part of the later organized township of Bell. At the same time 
^e timber-claimed the northeast quarter of section 7, same township, and the 
family lost little time in establishing a home on the plains, quickly becom- 
ing recognized as among the most substantial and influential members of 
that pioneer community. Mr. \^an Eman took a prominent part in the 
oi^anization of the civic body in that part of the county and was becoming a 
very well established farmer when he was killed in the cyclone that swept 
over that section of the county on May 17, 1878. 

^Mrs. Van Eman and her children remained on the homestead farm and 
contmued the work of developing the same, gradually creating a fine piece 
^' property. When the rapid settlement of the community seemed to call 
'^^ ^ subdivision of the civic organization up to that time known as Grove 
tow-nsliip, the new township was named Bell township, in honor of Mrs. 
^fllo A^an Eman, fitting recognition of her valuable services in the com- 
^iiriitj and an affectionate expression of the high esteem in which she was 
held l>y her pioneer neighbors. In the spring of 1884 Mrs. Van Eman gave 
"P tl-ie active direction of her homestead affairs and moved to Hutchinson, 
wlier-^ she spent the rest of her life, continuing active in good works, her 
Qeath occurring on March i, 1895. She was an earnest member of the 
^resl>iterian church, as was her husband, who was an elder, and their chil- 
dren ^vere reared in that faith. There were nine of these children, as fol- 
^^y - Robert Chalmers, born in Stark county, Ohio, August 11, 1849, ^ 
retired farmer, now living at Gorham, Illinois; Abram Wiley, bom in Stark 
county, Ohio, August i, 185 1, for years a well-known grocer at Hutchin- 
^^^y this county, who died on July 15, 1913; Hannah Mary, born in Richland 
<^^tint\r, Ohio, January 30, 1854, now living at Denver, Colorado, widow of 
" ^- Deisher, a real-estate dealer of that city, who died on Deceml^er 16. 
^^^ » Tiufus Melanchton, lx)rn in Richland county, Ohio, March 14, 1856, 
^ Pi"05^p^^^Qj.^ living at Fresno, California; Ettie Belle, born in Ogle county, 
^^oi^^ July 5, i860, who died in childhood; Anna Myrtie, born in Ogle 
"^t;^^ Illinois. August 10, 1862, who is still living in Hutchinson; Charles 
'<^vvij^^ 1^001 in Ogle county, Illinois, May 9, 1865, foreman of the freight 
^Ji^^ of the Santa Fe railroad at Hutchinson; William Glenn, born in 
^^W^nson county, Illinois, September 16, 1868, who died on January 2, 
^^ ^ » at Butte, Montana, where he was engaged in the newspaper business, 



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236 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

and James Logan, bom in Stephenson county, Illinois, December 28, 1870, 
night agent at the Santa Fe freight office in Hutchinson. Since 1905 the 
Van Eman family residence has been maintained at 724 Sixth Avenue, east, 
a comfortable dwelling owned by Miss Anna Van Eman. Miss Van Eman 
is a member of the Presbyterian church, an earnest worker in the local 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union and devoted to all good works in 
her home town. 



MARCELLUS MOORE. 



Marcellus Moore, a well-known, progressive and well-to-do farmer of 
Lincoln township, this coimty, long recognized as one of the leading citi- 
zens of the Darlow neighborhood, is a native of Maine, having been bom 
on a farm near the city of Bangor, in that state, April 5, 1845, son of 
Joseph and Rachel (Randolph) Moore, both natives of that same state, 
the former born in 1825 and the latter in 1826, whose last days were spent 
in Illinois. 

Joseph Moore's father was a native of Ireland, who came to the United 
States as a young man and settled in the lumber region of Maine, where he 
married, reared his family and spent the rest of his life. Joseph Moore 
grew up to the life of the timber woods and in his turn became a lumber- 
man. He married Rachel Randolph, daughter of a neighboring farmer, 
Walter Randolph, who had been kidnapped on the river Thames in England 
when a boy and brought to this country, where he grew to manhood in Maine 
and became a farmer. * Joseph Moore lost a hand in the saw-mill in which 
he was working in Maine and some time afterward moved with his family 
to Pennyslvania, in which state he operated a saw-mill for himself for four 
years, at the end of which time, in 1855, he moved with his family to Pike 
county, Illinois, where he bought an improved farm and there he and his 
wife spent the remainder of their lives, he dying in 1890 and she in 1895. 
long having been regarded as among the leaders in the life of the com- 
munity in which they lived so long. The mother was a member of the Con- 
gregational church and they were the parents of three children, Marcellus, 
the subject of this sketch; Josephine, who married Simpson Capps, and 
Mrs. Theodosia Walker, the latter of whom is now deceased. 

Marcellus Moore was six years old when his parents moved from 
Maine to Pennsylvania, and in the latter state he attended school for a few 
months during the winters of his boyhood in the mountains near the lumber 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 237 

camp. He was ten years old when the family moved to Illinois and he there 
attended school in a room where ninety children were kept under the super- 
vision of one teacher, the scliool district in which he lived being an unus- 
ually crowded one. Being the only son, he early became his father's main- 
stay on the farm. He married in 1865 and continued making his home on 
the paternal farm, taking the practical management of the same on his own 
shoulders, this relieving his father of much of the labor of the place, and so 
continued until his father's death, after which he bought .the interests of the 
other heirs in the place and continued to make his home there until 1899, 
in which year he sold the farm and came to Kansas with his family, locat- 
ing in Reno county. Upon coming to this county, Mr. Moore bought twc 
hundred and forty acres in Haven township and lived there for one year 
and ten months, at the end of which time he sold that place and bought the 
northwest quarter of section 24, in Lincoln township, where he ever since 
has lived, he and his family having a very pjeasant and attractive place, the 
comfortable farm house and well-kept fanii buildings being situated just 
one-half mile west of the pleasant village of Darlow. 

In addition to his home farm, Mr. Moore is the owner of a quarter of 
a section of fine land in Medford township and is principally engaged in 
grain farming, though he has taken much interest in maintaining one of the 
best herds of pure-bred O. I. C. hogs in that neighborhood. Mr. Moore 
has ever taken an active interest in movements designed to advance the wel- 
fare of the farmers of that part of the county, and for some years served 
as treasurer of the farmers elevator at Darlow and has also for several 
years been one of the directors of the Darlow Telephone Company. He is 
a Democrat in principle, though independent in the expression of his pre- 
ferences for candidates in local elections, ever reserving his right to vote 
for such candidates as he regards best fitted for the performance of the 
duties of public office. He has served in the past as school director and is 
now director of Lincoln township, giving his most thoughtful and intelli- 
gent attention to his public duties. 

On September 15, 1865, Marcellus Moore was united in marriage to 
Juliett Craig, who was born in Pike county, Illinois, daughter of Mitchell 
and Mary Craig, early settlers of that section of Illinois, and to this union 
nine children have been bom, as follow: Marcella, who married Charles 
Scheff and lives on a farm in Haven township, this county ; Theodore, prin- 
cipal of the high school at Griggsville, Illinois, married Sophia Madison 
and has one child, a daughter, Fannie; Ollie died, aged fourteen years; 
Rollin married Grace White and lives at Hutchinson; Mrs. May Kapps, 



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238 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

wife of a prosperous farmer of Pike county, Illinois; Eugene, a well-known 
farmer of Lincoln township, this county, who married Carrie Farthing; 
Fannie, who married Henry Dixon and lives in Yuma county, Colorado; 
Laura married Orvil Kimp, a farmer of Lincoln township, and Floyd, who 
with his little daughter, Doratha L., child of his deceased wife, makes her 
home with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Moore are members of the Methodist 
church at Elmer and are devoted to all good works in their neighborhood, 
benig held in high regard thereabout. In Septeml3er, 1915, they celebrated 
their "golden wedding,'' an occasion of much felicitation on the part of 
their neighbors. 



GEORGE ZIMMERMAN. 

George Zimmerman, a well-known farmer of Castleton township, this 
county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres in the 
Castleton neighborhood, former township trustee and a stockholder in the 
elevator company at Castleton, is a native son of Reno county, having been 
born on a pioneer farm in the neighborhood of his present home, August 
26, 1874, son of G. Milton and Priscilla (Carroll) Zimmerman, the former 
a native of Iowa and the latter of Pennsylvania, who became pioneers of 
this county and influential citizens of the Castleton neighborhood. 
''^ G. Milton Zimmerman was born in the state of Iowa on March 20, 
tfe49, soW^of George K. and Rachel (Jones) Zimmerman, natives of Penn- 
sylvania, who moved to Iowa shortly after their marriage and established 
their home on a farm, rriany years later moving to Missouri and settling on 
a farm in the vicinity of Sedalia, where their last days were spent. They 
were active members of the Christian church and their children were reared 
in that faith. They were the parents of nine children, Samuel B., Margaret, 
Adella, Augusta, Helen, G. Milton, Harvey, Maud and William. Of these 
children, Sanuiel B., G. Milton and Harvey, came to Reno county, and took 
an active part in the pioneer life of this county. Judge Samuel B. Zim- 
merman was the first principal of the old Sherman school in Hutchinson. 
I^^or years he was a prominent attorney of Hutchinson and for two terms 
served the county as probate judge. Harvey Zimmerman was also one of 
Reno county's pioneer school teachers and was thus engaged here for sev- 
eral years, but later moved away. 

G. Milton Zimmerman received an excellent education in his native state, 
having supplemented his conmion-school education by a course in the college 



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RENO COUl^TY, KANSAS. 239 

at Iowa City, and for several years taught school there before moving to 
Missouri with his parents. He came to Reno county in 1872 with his 
brothers and taught one term of school here. After looking oyer the ground 
he decided to make his home here and \yith that end in view returned to 
Missouri for a wife. There he married Priscilla Carroll, who was bom in 
Pennsylvania on January n, 1850, daughter of George and Elizabeth 
(Henderson) Carroll, both natives of Pennsylvania, the former of whom 
was bom at West Alexandria in 1824 and the latter in 1826, and who were 
the parents of five children, Priscilla, Anna, John, Emma and Elizabeth. 
The mother of these' Children died in 1859 and Greorge Carroll married, 
secondly, Ruth Ray, who was bom at Bethany, Virginia, which second 
union was without is^ii^. George Carroll was the son of William and 
Priscilla (Israel) Carroll, the former a native of Ireland, who settled in 
Maryland, later moving to West = Maryland, ' Pennsylvania, where he fol- 
lowed his trade as a tailor lintil his death. George Carroll was a' soldier 
during the Civil War and at the close of the war moved to Missouri, s'et- 
tling on a farm in Pettis coUnty, where he Spent the remainder df his life, 
his death occurring on Deceinber 30, 1892, at the age of ' sixty-eight. ' G; 
Milton Zimmerman was about twenty-five years old when' he and his" wife 
came to Reno county from Missouri. Upon his arrival here he homestea:ded 
a tract of land east of the present site of Pretty Prairie, but presently sbld 
that farm and bought a quarter section in Castleton township, one-haK mile 
from the village of Castleton, and there established his home. To him and 
his wife were born four children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the 
eldest, the others being Anna, who married Frank Mohr; Milton E., of 
Steriing, this state, and Ruby, a teacher in the Hutchinson public schools, 
with whom her mother is now living in that city, their home being at 311 
Sixth street, east. 

George Zimmerman was reared on the home farm in Castleton town- 
ship and received his education in the common schools. After his marriage, 
^n 1900, he moved to his present place, l^eing the owner there of a fine farm, 
^d in addition to his own extensive farming oj^erations manages his father's 
farm. He takes an active interest in the general affairs of the community 
^d is one of the stockholders of the elevator company at Castleton. For 
years he has been a member of the school board and for four years served 
^s township trustee. 

On November 12, 1900, George Zimmerman was united in marriage 
^'^ Laura Button, born on May 26, i88t, in Missouri, daughter of A. T. 
Button and Nancy Phillips, who came to this county about 1890, and to this 



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240 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

union five children have been born, Rachel, bom on June 4, 1902; John, 
Octdber 28, 1904; Hazel, November 14, 1906; Ray, July 25, 1910, and 
Josephine, June 22, 19 13. Mrs. Zimmemian's father was a well-known 
farmer of this coimty, who died in the summer of 1915. 



FRANK MAGWIRE. 



Frank Magwire, an honored veteran of the Civil War, a wealthy retired 
farmer of this county, now living at Hutchinson; one of the real pioneers of 
Reno county, a former county commissioner and for many years active in 
the public affairs of this county, is a native of Vermont, having been bom 
in the town of Brandon, that state, September 11, 1841, son of Frank G. 
and Melissa D. (Avery) Magwire, the former a native of Connecticut and 
the latter of Vermont. 

Frank G. Magwire was trained to the trade of painter and as a young 
man went to Vermont, where he married and established his home at 
Brandon. In his old age he retired to Rutland, Vermont, where he died in 
1884, being then eighty-four years of age. He was twice married, his first 
wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, having died following the birth 
of the latter, leaving two other sons, Roderick, a house painter, who died 
at Terre Haute, Indiana, in 19 10, he having moved to that place in 1865, 
and John, a veteran of the Civil War, a member of Company H, Fiftieth 
Regiment, Vermont Vokmteer Infantry, who died from the effects of a 
wound received during the battle of Seven Pines. Frank G. Magwire mar- 
ried, secondly, Jerusha Stowel, and to that union two children were bom, 
Mary M. and Emily Augusta, both unmarried, living at Hydeville, Vermont 

The younger Frank Magwire was reared at Brandon, Vermont, receiv- 
ing his education in the schools there, and was trained as a house painter. 
At seventeen years of age he left home and started out as a contracting 
painter on his own account. In the winter of 1860-61 he went to Michigan, 
settling in Shiawassee county, where he started to work at his trade, and in 
May, 1861, enlisted in Company G, Third Regiment, Michigan Volunteer 
Infantry, for service during the Civil War, and in June was in Washington, 
D. C, with that regiment, shortly thereafter being called on to participate 
in the battle of Blackbums Ford and in the first battle of Bull Run. The 
brigade to which the Third Michigan was attached was commanded by 
Colonel Richardson and covered the army's retreat after the disastrous 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 24I 

engagement at Bull Run. In the following December Frank Magwire 
became quite ill and received his honorable discharge on a physician^s cer- 
tificate of disability. He spent that winter in Ohio and then returned to 
Michigan, where, in June, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, Fourth Mich- 
igan Cavalry, and served in that command until the close of the war, presently 
being promoted to the rank of sergeant and later first sergeant, which was 
his rank when he was mustered out at the termination of hostihties. The 
Fourth Michigan Cavalry was attached to the Army of the Cumberland and 
was constantly engaged in cavalry and raid duty, its record being written 
high on the scroll of fame. Sergeant Magwire thus had many thrilling 
experiences. For weeks at a stretch his regiment was engaged in almost 
ceaseless skirmishes with Joe Wheeler and General Forrest. It was his regi- 
ment that opened the battle of Chickamauga and held Longstreet back all 
day while Rosecrans was coming up. He participated in the siege and 
battle of Chattanooga, lying on the left flank for two weeks in the breast- 
works at Atlanta. The Fourth Michigan Cavalry then was sent on to take 
part in Kilpatrick's raid on Jonesboro, and raided all around the Confederate 
army. After the fall of Atlanta they went to Nashville and fought under 
Hood, and from there went to Louisville to secure new mounts, being com- 
pelled to surround the town before the people would give up the required 
number of horses. The cavalrymen then started back to Nashville, but by 
that time the battle was over. They then took part in Wilson's big raid 
through Alabama and burned the town of Selma. It was at the battle of 
Selma that Sergeant Magwire became commander of his company, a position 
he retained until the regiment was mustered out. Though Selma fell in 
thirty-five minutes, one-sixth of the Union force was killed or wounded and 
one- fourth of the officers fell. After Selma the regiment pushed on to 
Irvvinville to capture Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States 
of America, and after having turned their prisoner over to the proper author- 
ities returned to Nashville, where they were mustered out. 

Upon the completion of his military service, Sergeant Magwire returned 
to Selma, Alabama, the town in whose destruction he had participated, and 
for two years was engaged there in a carriage-painting shop. He then 
returned to his former home at Jonesville, in Hillsdale county, Michigan, 
where he married, proceeding thence to Macomb, Illinois, where he opened 
a carriage-painting shop and also engaged in contract house painting, remain- 
ing there for three years, at the end of which time, in 1871, he came to 
Kansas bj*^ "prairie schooner'' and settled in Reno county, arriving here in 
(i6a) 



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242 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

August of that year, being thus among the very earliest settlers of this 
county. Mr. Magwire entered a soldier's claim to the southwest quarter of 
section 26, in Qay township, and there established his home in a twelve- 
by-fourteen pine shanty, which was his domicile until conditions presently 
were fitting for the erection of a more commodious residence. Mr. Magwire 
early in his pioneer days came to the conclusion that grain crops were 
uncertain and began to give his chief attention to cattle raising, in which he 
engaged quite successfully for thirty-eight years. He presently enlarged his 
land holdings by the purchase of an adjoining quarter section, in addition 
to which half section he also owns a quarter section in the sand hills, and 
long has been regarded as one of the most substantial farmers of the county. 

Mr. Magwire is one of the real pioneers of Reno county. He assisted 
in the organization of Clay township and was elected the first township 
treasurer, gaining his election on the Democratic ticket, he ever having been 
an ardent Democrat. He then was elected township trustee and for seven 
years served in that important office. He circulated the petition which 
resulted in the establishment of a school district in the neighborhood and 
for ten years served as school director. He later served as justice of the 
peace in and for Clay township, and in 1885 was elected county commis- 
sioner of Reno county, in which office he made a fine record. He did much 
toward the creation of proper social and economic conditions in the forma- 
tive period of that now well-established farming community and has been a 
witness of the passing of the old order hereabout. Mr. Magwire, in 1873, 
killed the last buflfalo that was ever seen in Clay township. He remained on 
his ranch until his retirement in August, 1913, since which time he has 
made his home in Plutchinson, where he is very comfortably situated. He 
takes a keen interest in current affairs and for the past fifteen years or more 
each year has taken a trip to one or another of the distant points of interest 
in the United States. An ardent member of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, for years an active member of Joe Hooker Post of that patriotic order, 
he has attended ten national encampments of the order and has ever taken a 
warm interest in the affairs of the same. He formerly was an active Mason 
and has always contributed to the support of the Presbyterian church, of 
which he is an attendant, though not an active member. 

In March, 1868, Frank Magwire was united in marriage in Michigan 
to Rosella J. Lockwood, who was born in that state, daughter of Alanson 
and Dolly Lockwood, natives of New York, and to that union three children 
were born, Fred A., a machinist, who died in Montana on February 27, 
1916; Ella, who married George Turkle, now deceased, and she is now liv- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 243 

^ ^ at Kent, this county, where she manages the tower for the Santa Fe 
ci) .'^^M, and rioy, who married Prof. R. L. McCormick, who holds the 
Itf^ of mathematics in Rose Polytechnic Institute at Terre Haute, Indiana. 
w/r^ ^osella Magwire died on November 26, 1885, and in 1888 Mr. Mag- 
in (\^^rried, secondly, Mrs. Bertha M. (Rehn) Steinhauser, who was born 
^^tial Dover, Ohio, daughter of a German Methodist minister, and to 
tVis union one son was born, Frank B., who married Estella Jones, and is 
now managing a farm at Ellenwood, Kansas. By her first marriage, Mrs. 
Mag\vire was the mother of one son, Clififord E. Steinhauser, a railroad man 
living at Aberdeen, Washington. Mrs. Bertha M. Magwire died on August 
ID. T911. 



MERWIN BOLTON BANGS. 

The late Merwin Bolton Bangs, one of the most brilliant and popular 
young men in Reno county, whose death at his pleasant farm home in Lin- 
coln township in 1909 was the occasion of much sorrow among hh many 
friends in Hutchinson and throughout the county generally, was a native 
of New York City, where he was bom on x^ugust 29, 1877, son of Dr. 
Lemuel B. and Frances (Edwards) Bangs, both natives of that same city, 
whose respective families had been represented in the social and cultural 
activities of the American metropolis for generations, the former of whom 
was a first cousin of the famous author, John Kendricks Bangs. 

Dr. I^nmel Bangs, whose death occurred in October, 19 14, he then 
being seventy-two years of age, was for years one of the best-known sur- 
geons in New York City. He had followed a thorough course of instruc- 
tion in the medical schools of his home city by a course in the famous col- 
lege of surgeons in Vienna and his lectures to medical students and contri- 
butions to medical magazines for years were regarded as among the author- 
itative utterances of his profession. To him and his wife, Frances Edwards 
Bangs, three children were born, the subject of this memorial sketch having 
had two sisters, Mary E., unmarried, who makes her home in New York 
City, and Helen A., now deceased, who married Nevin Sayre, whose brother, 
Francis B. Sayre is a son-in-law of President Wilson. Upon the death of 
the mother of these children, which occurred when the only son was about 
fifteen years of age. Doctor Bangs married, secondly, Isabelle Hoyt, to 
which union one child was born, a son, Nesbitt, who is now (1916) a student 



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244 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

in Williams College, who makes his home in New York City with his 
mother and his sister, Mary* 

Merwin B. Bangs was reared amid the most refined surroundings in 
his home in New York and after finishing the work in the public schools was 
sent to the St. Paul preparatory school at Hartford, Connecticut, where he 
prepared for entrance to Yale College, from which latter institution he was 
graduated in 1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Following his 
graduation he entered a broker's oflice in New York and was thus engaged 
for a year, at the end of which time he became attracted by the possibilities, 
of ranch life in the West and came to Kansas. He bought a ranch of 
twelve hundred acres near Greensburg, in Kiowa county, stocked the same 
and operated it successfully for four years, at the end of which time, in 
1904, he sold the ranch to advantage and came to Reno county, where he 
bought a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres in Clay township. The 
next year he married and made his home in Hutchinson, where, in partner- 
ship with J. N. Bailey, he engaged in the real-estate business, though still 
keeping his farm. In the spring of 1909 Mr. Bangs withdrew from the 
real-estate business and bought the northeast quarter of section 18, Lincoln 
township, since made a portion of Yoder township, and there established his 
home, taking much pleasure in the thought of the many improvements he 
had projected for the place. Unhappily, he was not permitted to see the 
fruition of these plans, for death came to him before the year w^as out, 
December 25, 1909, he then being but thirty-two years of age. 

On November 8, 1905, Mervin B. Bangs was united in marriage to 
Minette Alice Dewey, who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, daughter of 
Edward and Minette (Sloan) Dewey, the former of whom was born in 
Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the latter in New York state. Edward 
Dewey was reared in Massachusetts and as a boy studied medicine, with the 
expectation of becoming a physician, and was graduated from Williams 
College at the early age of sixteen years in 1861. He then enlisted for 
service in the Union army during the Civil War and served as a member of 
one of the Massachusetts regiments until the close of the war, after which, 
his intention to become a physician having become changed during the time 
of his military exi>erience, he located in Chicago and after spending two 
years there went to Milwaukee, where he ever since has been engaged in 
business, long having l>een the head of the wholesale grocery firm of Edward 
Dewey & Company, one of the most extensive and progressive concerns of 
its kind in the Northwest. Not long after locating in Milwaukee, Mr. 
Dewey was united in marriage, at Beaver Dam, same state, to Minette 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 245 

Sloan, who, as a child had moved to that place with her parents, prominent 
pioneers of that city, and to this union four children were born, Francis 
K., who is in business with his father in Milwaukee; Eliza, who married 
George Femie and lives on a ranch in Lincoln township, this county; Min- 
ette Alice, who married Mr. Bangs, and Sloan, who is engaged in business 
with his father in Milwaukee. 

To Merwin B. Minette A. (Dewey) Bangs two children were born, 
sons both, Merwin Bolton, born on October 7, 1906, and Edward Dewey, 
Afarch 28, igio. Mrs. Bangs is a member of the Episcopal church at 
Hutchinson, of which her late husband also was an earnest member, and 
takes an active interest in all good works hereabout, being held in the high- 
est esteem by the many friends she has made since coming to this county. 
Since her husband's death she has continued to make her home on the 
farm, to the operation of which she gives her personal attention. 



JOHN MILTON DAVIES. 

John Milton Davies was born on July 19, 1873, in Guernsey county, 
Ohio, the son of Hiram and Sarah (Slack) Davies, both of whorh were 
natives of that county. Hiram Davies was a coal miner in Ohio, and 
moved to Sumner coimty, Kansas, in 1884, where he lived for one year. 
He then moved to Lawrence county, Missouri, and lived on a farm for 
some time, after which he removed to Monett, Missouri, and worked as a 
machinist in the 'Frisco railroad shops. Mr. Davies is still living at Monett. 
His wife, Sarali (Slack) Davies, died in 1907, at the age of sixty-six 
years. She was an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in 
which denomination Hiram Davies still takes an active interest. 

Hiram and Sarah (Slack) Davies were the parents of seven children, 
as follow: John Milton, the subject of this sketch; Edgar, who was killed 
i^ a railroad accident in North Dakota ; Harry, who is an engineer on the 
Frisco railroad, lives at Monett, Missouri ; Charles, who was an engineer, 
was killed on a railroad in Texas; Pearl died in 1903, at the age of twenty* 
years; May, deceased, was the wife of a Mr. Ulman; Loyal is attending 
college in Morris ville, Missouri. 

John M. Davies attended the elementary schools in Ohio for a few 
years, and later had several years training in the schools of Kansas and 
Missouri. While living in Lawrence county, Missouri, he assisted his father 



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246 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



with the work of the farm. After the family had moved to Monett he 
secured employment in the division offices of the 'Frisco lines, and later 
worked as a brakeman on that railroad. Mr. Davies then went to the zinc 
mines at Oronogo, Missouri, and was working there when he met with an 
accident through which he lost a hand and an eye. Mr. Davies was mar- 
ried in 1903, and in 1907 he and his wife came to Reno county, Kansas, 
where Mr. Davies worked for his father-in-law, Ulysses Hendrickson, who 
owned a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Salt Creek township. In 
1912 Mrs. Davies inherited the farm, and since that time the farm house 
has been remodeled, so that Mr. and Mrs. Davies now have a comfortable, 
modem home. 

On October 22, 1903, at Oronogo, by Rev. James SuUens, John Milton 
Davies was united in marriage to Grace Hendrickson, who was bom in 
Jasper county, MiSsouri, the daughter of Ulysses and Mary J. (Cochran) 
Hendrickson. To this union have been born two children: Gordon, who 
was bom on June 19, 1905, and Loyal, who was born on March 12, 1907. 

Ulysses Hendrickson was born on April 24, 1832, in Holmes county, 
Ohio, and died on May 19, 1912. He was the son of Samuel and Sarah 
(Wetherby) Hendrickson. The Hendrickson family was long prominent 
in Maryland and was represented among the pioneers in Holmes coimty, 
Ohio, where Samuel Hendrickson was bom. In 1846 he removed to Linn 
county, Iowa, and settled on government land. He went to Jasper county, 
Missouri, in 1866, and there died at the age of eighty-three years. He was 
a Mason. 

Sarah Weatherby was bom in Massachusetts and was reared in Ohio. 
She died in Missouri, at the age of seventy years. Her father, John 
Weatherby, was one of the early settlers of Holmes county, Ohio, and was 
of English descent. Samuel and Sarah (Weatherby) Hendrickson were 
the parents of eight children, as follow : Marietta, Martha, Ulysses, Lucre- 
tia, lantha, Andrew J., Melvina, who married J. W. Hawn; James W. 

Ulysses Hendrickson received his early school training in Holmes 
county, Ohio. He was fourteen years old when the family moved to Linn 
county, Iowa, and there he attended school in the log school house on Otter 
creek. He was an apt student and with reading and travel in later life 
acquired a broad education. He endured the hardships of pioneer life in a 
sod house in Iowa, and lived at home until his marriage, in 1855. After 
farming for a few years in Fayette county, Iowa, he moved to Jasper 
county, Missouri, and bought forty acres of land in Mineral township, 
three miles west of Oronogo, and there erected a cabin sixteen by eighteen 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 247 

teet. He subsequently increased his land holdings in Missouri to four 
hundred acres. In 1874 Ulysses Hendrickson was elected sheriff of Jasper 
county, Missouri, and went to live at Carthage, the county seat. When his 
term of office had expired he returned to the farm until 1890, when he was 
elected to the Missouri state Senate, from the twenty-eighth district. He 
served four years in the Senate, after which he located in the town of 
Oronogo, where he bought a fine residence in 1897. He was an ardent 
Democrat Later, Mr. Hendrickson came to Reno county and here he died. 
On September 26, 1855, Ulysses Hendrickson was united in marriage 
With Mary J. Cochran, who was born on February 28, 1837, ^" Pickaway 
county, Ohio, the daughter of George and Hannah (Ward) Cochran, both 
of whom were natives of Ohio. Mrs. Hannah Cochran died when Mary J. 
was one year old. Mrs. Mary J. Hendrickson died in Reno county, June 3, 
19 1 3. Ulysses and Mary J. (Cochran) Hendrickson were the parents of 
six children, as follow: Commodore Perry, retired, of Hutchinson, Kan- 
sas; John B., of Hutchinson; lantha, wife of Thomas R. McLaughlin, a 
retired farmer of Hutchinson; Minerva, who married Harvey Nance; 
Grace, wife of John M. Davies, and Cole C. 

John Milton Davies is a Democrat, and has been elected by that party 
to a place on the local school board. He is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Davies are interested in every meas- 
ure calculated to advance the welfare of Reno county, and have many 
friends in their home neighborhood. 



J. S. THURMAN. 



J. S. Thurman, superintendent of the great Viles plantation in Medora 
township, this county, is a native of Illinois, bom in Fulton county, that 
state, Februar>' 8, 1870, son of Stephen and Margaret (Snodgrass) Thur- 
"^2m, the former also a native of Illinois and the latter of Ohio. 

Stephen Thurman was born on February 26, 1830, and is still living, 
^^g having made his home in Butler county, this state. He is an honored 
veteran of the Civil War, having served for three years and eight months 
^ a member of Company A, Forty-seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer 
^^fantry; and during the service was shot three times, still carrying a bullet 
i^ his thigh. The Forty-seventh Illinois saw much active service, and Mr. 
Thurman was right in the thick of the most of it. Upon the completion of 



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248 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



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his military service he resumed his life as a farmer in Illinois and remained 
there until 1884, in which year he chartered two cars and moved to Kansas, 
settling in Butler county. He bought a quarter of a section of partly 
improved land and there established his home. His wife died in 1913, at 
the age of seventy-three years. She was a member of the Dunkard church ; 
he had been reared a Quaker. They were the parents of five children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest, the others being as fol- 
low: Levi H., who lives in Oklahoma; Edward, who lives in Cherokee 
county, this state; C. G., who Hves in Fulton, Illinois, and Sarah C, who 
married J. C. Cook and lives near Lamed, this state. 

J. S. Thurman received his early schooling in the schools of his native 
county in Illinois and was fourteen years old when he came to Kansas 
with his parents in 1884. He grew up on the home farm in Butler county, 
assisting in the labors of developing the same, and remained there until 
his marriage, in 1888, at the age of nineteen years, after which he boug^ht 
a farm of twenty-eight acres near the town of Keighley, rented another bit 
of land adjoining and was extensively engaged in market gardening" for 
thirteen years, or until 1901, in which year he came to Reno county and 
settled at Medora, where for six years he serv^ed as foreman of the railway 
section at Medora, in the employ of the 'Frisco Railroad. In 1907 he was 
made joint car inspector for the Rock Island and the 'Frisco at Medora and 
served in that capacity for something more than a year, at the end of which 
time he engaged in the hotel business in that same town, operating a retail 
store in ccmnection with the same. In 1909 he sold his hotel and store and 
accepted the position of section foreman for the Rock Island railroad at 
Groveland, which position he held until September, 19 10, when he received 
the appointment to his present position of superintendent of the eight-hun- 
dred-acre plantation of James Viles, in Medora township, this county, 
v\+iere he ever since has lived. This great plantation is devoted almost wholly 
to the raising of catalpa trees, the first stand of which was set out twelve or 
thirteen years ago. In the winter of 191 5-16 Mr. Thurman cut out one 
hundred thousand trees, the same to be converted into posts, thus thoroughly 
demonstrating the value of catalpa culture in this county. Mr. Thurman 
is a Republican and takes an active interest in ]X)litical affairs, having been 
township treasurer for the past four or five years. 

On June 30, 1888, J. S. Thurman was united in marriage to Martha 
L. Easton, who was born in Mercer county, Missouri, daughter of Thomas 
and Elizabeth Easton, the former of whom was a transfer man, and both 
of whom are now deceased, and to this union eleven children have been 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 2Xg 

bom, all of whom are living save Viola, the second in order of birth, who 

died in infancy, the others being as follow: Nola, who married E. Kinley 

and lives in Ford county, Kansas ; Vina B., who married George Shea and 

lives on a farm in Medora township, this county; Nettie, who married A. G. 

Johnson, night telegraph operator at the junction at Medora; William, who 

assists his father on the plantation; Dewey, also an assistant to his father, 

and Virgil, Lee, Opal, O'Neal and Austin, who are still in school. Mr. and 

Mrs. Thurman are members of the Brethren church and their children have 

been reared in that faith. Mr. Thurman is a member of the Knights of 

the M'accal)ees and takes a warm interest in the affairs of that order. 



WILLIAM H. MILLER. 



William H. Miller, one of the real pioneers of Reno county, for years 
*^ prosperous and well-known farmer of Troy township, now living com- 
i^ortably retired in a pleasant home in Hutchinson, enjoying the ample re- 
^^ards of a life of well-directed industry, is a native of Iowa, having been 
^^m on a farm in Wapello county, that state, July i6, 1849, son of John 
^'^d Sophia (Walworth) Miller, the former a native of Pennsylvania and 
^^^ latter of New York state. 

John Miller was reared on a farm and was married in New York 

^te, later emigrating to Indiana, where he began developing a fine farm, 

^^^ presently a cloud was discovered on his title to the same and he was 

^teci on a legal technicality, after which he moved farther west and settled 

^^^liriois, where he remained until 1846. About the time he settled in lUi- 

- ^^ tilie Black Hawk War broke out and he served in that brief but con- 

^iv-^ struggle. In the summer of 1846 he and his family drove through 

" ^-^^^-team to Iowa and settled in Wapello countv. There John Miller 

: ^^^"^ipted a half section of '^Congress land,'' on which he lived until 1855, 

^^^'^ich year he sold out and moved to Decatur county, where he bought a 

, ^^^^r of a section of land and there spent the remainder of his life, his 

•^ ocairring in the spring of 1874, he then being seventy-eight years of 

. " His widow survived him for nearly eighteen years, her death occur- 

. ^ in February, 1892, at the age of eighty-six. They were the parents of 

^ children, three sons and six daughters, of whom the subject of this 

^^^li was the youngest that grew to maturity, and of whom three are now 

^^ ^^^, he having a brother, Henry, who still makes his home in Decatur 



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250 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

county, Iowa, and a sister, Mary, widow of Henry McVay, living in Wayne 
county, that same state. 

William H. Miller was about six years old when his parents moved 
onto the frontier farm in Decatur county, Iowa, and there he grew to man- 
hood. The nearest school, house being about three miles from his home, his 
early opportunities for schooling wer-e limited. In the spring of 1872 he 
married a daughter of Zeno Tharp, a prominent farmer of that neighbor- 
hood, who, that same spring, came to Kansas and pre-empted a homestead 
in Reno county, and in the spring of 1873 Mr. Miller and his wife accom- 
panied the other members of the Tharp family to this county, arriving here 
on April 3. William H. Miller homesteaded the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 20, in Troy township, and was thus one of the three earliest settlers of 
that township, there being but one other family besides his and that of Mr. 
Tharp in the township at that time. He built a sod house on his place, but 
during the first summer they lived there he and his wife continued to sleep 
in their **prairie schooner," which had brought them down from Iowa. 
Their nearest neighbor was five miles distant. The buffaloes were still 
ranging the plains, and it was during that summer of 1873 that the great 
herd, noted in history as "the big herd," passed their place, the countless 
mass requiring fifty- four hours to pass a given point. Cash was scarce and 
hard to get throughout this section of Kansas in those days, and Mr. Miller, 
in order to obtain a bit of ready money, from time to time, gathered buffalo 
bones up off the plains and hauled them to Hutcliinson, where he received 
about six dollars a ton for the same. ^ 

Mr. Miller and his wife remained on their original homestead about 
four years, at the end of which time they sold that place and bought the 
northeast quarter of- section 10, in Troy township, where they established 
their permanent home and where they lived until their retireiment and 
removal to Hutchinson in 1908. Mr. Miller was a progressive and ener- 
getic farmer and made a success of his business, gradually enlarging his 
land holdings until he became the owner of six hundred and eighty acres in 
Troy township and was regarded as one of the most substantial farmers in 
that part of the county. Alx>ut i88q he became extensively engaged in the 
cattle business and so continued until his retirement from the farm, being 
also quite successful as a stockman. Mr. Miller has always been a stead- 
fast Republican and for years was looked upon as one of the leaders in 
the party in Troy township, a constant attendant at party conventions and 
otherwise active in the affairs of his party. For years he served as school 
director in his home district and also served for some time as township 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 25 1 

treasurer. In 1908 he retired from the active labors of the farm and moved 
to Hutchinson. He bought a house at 225 Sixth avenue, west, and there he 
and his wife are very pleasantly situated. 

On February 11, 1872, in Decatur county, Iowa, William H. 

Affller was united in marriage to Catherine Rose Tharp, who was bom on a 

/arm near Winchester, Indiana, daughter of Zeno and Christina (Fry) 

Tharp, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Germany. Zeno Tharp 

was born in Ashland, Ohio, May 20, 1827, and grew to manhood on a farm. 

When a young man he went over into Indiana and settled in Jay county, 

where he married Christina Fry, who was bom in Germany in 1835 and 

who was but five years old when her parents came to the United States, 

settling in Jay county, Indiana. About 1853 Zeno Tharp and his family 

emigrated to Iowa, settling in Decatur county, that state. When the Civil 

War broke out Mr. Tharp enlisted in Company K, Fifty-third Regiment. 

Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served for ten months, at the end of which 

time he was dischorged on a physician's certificate of disability, illness 

incapacitating him from further service. In 1872 Zeno Tharp came to 

Kansas and in November of that year filed on a half section of land in Troy 

township, this county. The next spring he brought his family here and 

established his home. He also bought a half section of railroad land and 

^^. xvas not long until he was accounted one of the most substantial farmers 

^^d stockmen in the county. Mr. Tharp was very active in the general 

affairs of the community during pioneer days and it is generally agreed that 

^o man had more influence in the days of the early development of the 

^uthern part of the county than he. In 1902 he retired from the active 

3^>ors of the farm and moved to Hutchinson, where his last days were spent. 

^ ^ricJ his wife were the parents of ten children, six of whom are living, 

^^hom Mrs. Miller is the eldest, the others being Mary, who married 

^^"^y Wright and lives in Hutchinson; John, a farmer, who makes his 

^^^ in Hutchinson; D. T., who lives at Nickerson, this county, and Flora, 

^ li^^es at Hutchinson, and George, who lives on the old home farm. 

TTc William H. and Catherine Rose (Tharp) Miller three children have 

^ t>orn, as follow: Walter J., born in 1876, who married Laura Croas 

l^A/es in Troy township, this county; Cora A., 1877, who married A. F. 

/^^^cl and also Uves in Troy township, and Frank Z., 1880, who married 

^>^s Hambrick and also makes his home in Troy township, all substan- 

"^ farmers and useful citizens of that part of the county. Mr. Miller is a 

tuevny^j. ^£ ^j^^ Independent Order of Odd Fellows and both he and his wife 



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252 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

are members of the Daughters of Rebekah. He also is a member of the 
Modem Woodmen and of the Fraternal Aid Society and in the affairs of 
all these organizations takes a warm interest. 



GEORGE ASTLE. 



George Astle, one of the best-known farmers of Haven township, this 
county, an honored veteran of the Civil War and one of the pioneers of 
Reno county, is a native of England, having been born in the town of 
Melbourne, Derbyshire, October 21, 1842, son of Richard and Sarah (Hib- 
bert) Astle, both natives of Derbyshite, the former of whom was born on 
February 15, 181 1, and the latter, February 3, 1810, who came to Kansas 
in pioneer days, settled in Haven township, this county, and there spent the 
rest of their Hves, useful and valued citizens of that community. 

Richard Astle was reared in Derbyshire, married there and became a 
market gardener. To him and his wife ten children were bom, all of 
whom grew to maturity. In 1852, their elder children having them grown, 
the two eldest having married and settled in their home town, Richard 
Astle and his wife and their younger children emigrated to the United 
States, locating neat* Quincy, Illinois, where Mr. Astle engaged in garden- 
ing. In 1861 the family moved to Godfrey, near Alton, Illinois, where 
they farmed until 1866, in which year they moved to Alhambra, that same 
state, and farmed there until 1872. In this latter year, the good word of 
the promising conditions presented in this section of Kansas having begun 
to attract much attention in the East, Richard Astle and his wife and their 
elder children equipped a couple of "prairie schooners" and drove through 
to this county, arriving in Haven township in the month of April, the 
younger children joining them a few months later. Richard Astle and 
those of the children who had reached their majorities each homesteaded a 
quarter of a section, the father's homestead being in section 20. There he 
established his home and there he and his wife spent the rest of their lives, 
his death occurring on June 10, 1883. His widow survived until January 
22, 1 89 1. Richard Astle was a Republican and took a prominent part in 
local political affairs in pioneer days, long serving as justice of the peace 
in and for Haven township. He and his wife were earnest members of 
the Methodist church and were among the leaders in the organization of 
a church of that denomination in their neighborhood. Their children were 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 253 

^follow: John, born on Noveml)er 17, 1832, who remained in England 
and who died on September 2, 1896; Elizabeth, March 15, 1834, who mar- 
ried Henry Barber, of Melbourne, England, where she died on September 
28, 1899; Richard, February 15, 1836, a well-known retired fanner, living 
at Haven, this county; William, Noveml)er 21, 1840, a veteran of the Civil 
War, who was prominent in the establishment of the town of Haven, where 
he was successfully engaged in the grain and general mercantile business, 
married Louisa Tissius and is now living retired at Haven; George, the sub- 
ject of this sketch; Joseph, April 2*], 1845, ^ well-known hardware mer- 
chant in Haven, who died in 1899; Sarah, February 16, 1847, ^^^ deceased, 
who married Henry Challacombe; Mary, February 20, 1849, married J. W. 
VanBuren and died in Haven township on March 22, 1910; Henry, June 
21, 1851, a retired farmer now living at Haven, and Charles W., the only 
one of the children born in the United States, bom at Quincy, Illinois, 
November 21, 1854, former postmaster of Haven, which town he aJso served 
as mayor, and former manager of the farmers' elevator at that place, where 
he IS now living retired. 

George Astle was about ten years old when his family came to America 
from England and he grew to manhood on the farm in Illinois. In August, 
1862, he then being not quite twenty years of age, he enlisted in Company 
I, Ninety-seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for service during 
the Civil War, and was at once sent with his regiment to Kentucky, the regi- 
ment there forming part of the army under General Buell in the campaign 
against General Bragg. After participating in the battle of Perryville the 
regiment was sent on to Memphis, thence to Vicksburg, an attack, under 
General Sherman, being made on the latter town, upon the repulse of which 
the regiment retired to Arkansas Post, which place was taken in January. 
In the spring of 1873 the Ninety-seventh Illinois fought in the battles of 
Port Gibson, Champion Hills and Black River, following which it was 
^"S^ed in the siege of Vicksburg until that city fell. The regiment then 
assisted in the capture of Jackson, Mississippi, after which it took part in 
the famous Red River expedition, being ordered thence to New Orleans to 
^ fitted out as a regiment of mounted infantry. On the way to New 
Orleans the troop train was wrecked, leaving fewer than two hundred men 
lit for service, and these were put on provost duty while the regiment was 
[jeing recruited to its nonnal strength. The regiment was then sent on the 
expedition against Mobile and after the capture of that city was sent to take 
SeJma, Alabama, upon the destruction of which town the Ninety-seventh 
was sent to Galveston, Texas, where it was mustered out in July, 1865. 



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254 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Upon the conclusion of his military service Mr. Astle stopped for a 
couple of years in Missouri and while there married Mattie Shuron, a native 
of Missouri, who died one year and twenty-eight days after her marriage, 
without issue. After that Mr. Astle rejoined his father in -Illinois and 
remained on the farm there until the family came to Reno county in 1872, 
sitice which time he has made his home in this county. Upon arriving in 
this county George Astle homesteaded a quarter section in section 28, Haven 
township, but continued to make his home with his parents as long as they 
lived. He then bought the interests of the other heirs in the home place 
and continued to reside there, being now the owner of two hundred and 
twenty-live acres in this county, all well-improvei^l and profitably cultivated. 
He erected a new set of buildings on the home place and set out a good- 
sized orchard and is now very well circumstanced. 

In the fall of 1887 George Astle married, secondly, Mrs. Huldah 
(Michaels) Tucker, who was born in Virginia and came to Kansas with her 
three children in 1887, her marriage to Mr. Astle taking place shortly there- 
after. She died in the spring of T913. By her first marriage Mrs. Astle 
was the mother of three children, John R. Tucker, who lives in Oklahoma; 
Franklin DeWitt Tucker, who lives on his step- fathers place," which he is 
now farming, and Gertrude, who married Josiah Foreaker and died in 1907, 
leaving three children, whom Mr. Astle is rearing. Mr. Astle is a member 
of the United Brethren church and of the local post of the Grand Army of 
the Republic at Haven, in the affairs of which he takes much interest. 



ISAAC SMITH. 



Isaac Smith, the well-known grocer of Hutchinson, Kansas, located at 
7 South Main street, is a Hoosier by birth, having first seen the light of 
day on December 6, 1861, in Washington county, Indiana. He is a son of 
Stephen H. and Mary A. (Hoar) Smith, both parents being also natives of 
Washington county, Indiana. Stephen H. Smith was born on April i, 
1836, and died on September 15, 1884, his entire life being spent in that 
same county, where during all his active years he followed the vocation of 
farming. Mary A. Hoar was born on Septeinber 15, 1839, and passed from 
this life on July 26, 1882. Isaac Smith is one of a family of six children, 
the others being Mary F., wife of Thaddeus K. Benson, a farmer of Reno 
county; John E., a former grocer of Hutchinson, who died on January -22, 



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RENO- COUNTY, KANSAS. 255 

1909; Jesse E., a banker at Grainfield, this state; Martha J., a physician 
located at Indianapolis, Indiana, and Emmett, also engaged in the grocery 
business in Hutchinson. 

Isaac Smith received his elementary education in the district schools 

near his home in Washington county, Indiana, supplemented by special and 

more advanced study at the Northern Indiana Normal at Valparaiso, that 

state. Later in life, Isaac Smith took a complete commercial course at the 

Campbell University, Holton, this state. For eleven years after completing 

his normal studies he engaged in school teaching, being located at various 

times in Washington county, Indiana; Sangamon county, Illinois, and Gove 

county, Kansas, sending two terms of two years each as superintendent of 

the Gove county schools. Mr. Smith homesteaded a claim of one hundred 

and sixty acres in Gove county, same being the southeast quarter of section 

30, township II, range 28, and after proving same, he disposed of it. On 

May 20, 1899, he engaged in the retail grocery business on South Main 

street. Hutchinson, to which business he has since given his best efforts and 

attention. In addition to his business, Mr. Smith owns his residence, located 

at 312 Ninth avenue. West, where he has resided for the past eighteen 

years. Mr. Smith has a well established business which he well merits by 

virtue of his honest desire to correctly meet the demands of his customers, 

and being possessed of a cordial temperament, he easily wins and holds 

friends. 

On May 19, 1886, Isaac Smith was married in Sangamon county, Illi- 
nois, to Jennie Bridges, a daughter of Chester L. and Margaret E. (Abrams) 
Bridges, bom in that county on August 28, 1862. Chester L. Bridges was 
^^n in Arkansas on April 2, 1834, and died at his home in Hutchinson on 
April 10, 1912, while his widow, who is still living in Hutchinson, was bom 
in Illinois, on April 16, 1841. There were two children in the Bridges 
{amily, the one other than Mrs. Smith being Josephine, who married John 
A. Garber, a contractor and builder located at Hutchinson, Kansas. Chester 
L. Bridges was for many years a farmer and also a harness maker, follow- 
ing the latter occupation during the latter years of his life. Both he and 
his wife were for many years active workers in the Baptist church and in 
that faith Mrs. Smith was carefully reared. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith have 
been bom five children, namely: Carroll M., who was bom in Sangamon 
county, Illinois, on March 6, 1887, and assists his father in the grocery; 
Margaret A., born in Gove county, this state, on April 16, 1889, married 
William Lester, musician and composer of Chicago, Illinois; Chester L., the 



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256 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



third child, was born in Gove county, this state, March 6, 1891, and is located 
in Kansas City, Missouri, where he is engaged in the practice of the law; 
Eldon B. was born in Gove county, March 20, 1896, and is at present attend- 
ing the state university at Lawrence; Melvin C, the youngest of the family, 
1x>m in Reno county. May 26, 1900, is still in high school in Hutchinson. 
Isaac Smith and his family are numbered among the best people of the city 
wherein they have made their home for many years and are justly entitled 
to the high esteem in which they are universally held. 



MARTIN BURRIS. 



Martin Burris, truck farmer and gardener, living at 126 Fourteenth 
avenue, West, Hutchinson, Reno county, Kansas, was bom in Morgan 
county, Indiana, a son of Caleb and Frances (Brown) Burris, April 6, 1856. 
Caleb Burris was a son of James Burris, of English parentage, and was bom 
on September 29, 18 18, in Ohio, "a day's drive" (as it was then termed) 
from the town of Cincinnati, now the thriving city. His death occurred in 
1875. Frances Brown was born on August 28, 1817, in the hill country of 
North Carolina, and her death occurred in 1879. Caleb and Frances Burris 
were married on August 15, 1841, and to them were born six children. 
Those other than Martin, the immediate subject of this sketch, are William 
R., Rebecca L., who married Charles T. Mendenhall; Fernando, a truck 
farmer living near Savannah, Missouri; Mary and Allen J., all of whom 
have passed into the life beyond with the exception of Fernando and Martin. 

Martin Burris when a young boy attended the common schools near 
his home in Morgan county, Indiana, and after the family moved to lowa, 
he continued his studies in the public schools of Dallas county. He early 
engaged in farming and went to Sumner county, Kansas, in 1876 and rented 
a farm on which he lived for some time, during which time he was also 
engaged in freighting goods from Wichita, this state, to the supply camps 
and forts across the line in the Indian Territory. His load when going in 
that direction consisted of supplies and provisions for soldiers and Indians 
and on the return trip principally of hides. In 1877 Martin Burris moved 
to Rush county this state, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty 
acres. Securing a patent to his **claim'' he sold and moved to the territory 
of Washington in 1888, purchasing one acre in the town of Sidney (which 
is now known as Port Orchard) and forty acres in Kitsap county, ad join- 



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I 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 257 

ing the town of Sidney. In the early nineties, he returned to Kansas, locat- 
ing in Hutchinson, where he bought city property and has since made his 
home, giving his time and attention to truck gardening and light farming. 
Martin Burris was married at West Point, Rush county, this state. 
October 30, 1883, to Emaline Caroline Carr, daughter of Cyrus and Mary 
Jane (Haworth) Carr, both in Harden county, Iowa, April 3, 1865. Cyrus 
Carr was a farmer, who owned land in Harden county, Iowa, and also in 
Rush county, this state, where he homesteaded a claim of one hundred and 
sixty acres and where his death occurred on February 11, 1895. He was 
born on August 20, 1828, near Clarksburg, in Highland county, Ohio, a son 
of Benjamin Carr, bom on December 28, 1792 (died in 1885), and Permela 
(Evins) Carr (bom in 1801, died in 1871). Permela (Evins) Carr was 
a daughter of Evin Evins and Permela Bales. Benjamin Carr was a son 
of Benjamin Carr, and Patience, his wife. Mary Jane Haworth, wife of 
Cyrus Carr and mother of Mrs. Martin Burris, was bom on March 25, 1834, 
in Vermilion county, Illinois, and died on Februar}^ i, 1901. She was a 
daughter of Rees Haworth (bom in 1804 and died in November, 1895), 
and Permela, his wife, who died in 1885. Cyrus Carr and Mary Jane 
Haworth were married on October 30, 1850, and to them was bom a family 
of seven children, namely: Emaline (Mrs. Burris), John R., Melvina, 
who married Charles Osbom; Elven, Martha, a minister of the Quaker 
church living in Mead county, this state; Rees B., a farmer of the same 
county, and Harvey, a farmer in Pawnee county, this state. The Carr 
family have been members of the Quaker church for many generations, 
active in the work of their various local organizations. 

To Martin Burris and wife have been bom ten children, as follow: 
John W., GecM-ge R., Harvey M., Mabel E., Alice A., Grace M., Allen J., 
Willie F., Mary F. and Lavina. John W. was bom on August 28, 1884, in 
Rush county, this state and is now proprietor of a bakery in Lexington, 
Nebraska. George R., was born on January 2, 1886, in Rush county, and 
is now a linotype operator with the Mid-West Printing Company and secre- 
tary of Typographical Union No. 243. He has had conferred on him by. 
his local organization the honor of being delegate to the international body 
and has discharged the responsibilities thus devolving upon him in a manner 
highly pleasing to all. George R. Burris is a student of archaeology and 
has spent three of his summer vacations in research work in the interesting 
field which New Mexico offers to such students. He is known in local 
labor circles as a leader among his fellow-workmen, and a broad-minded 
(17a) 



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258 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

man of ability and excellent judgment. Harvey M., bom on October 10, 
1887, in Rush county, is a printer. Mabel E. and Alice A. are twins, born 
on April 20, 1892, the former being a teacher in the schools of Reno county, 
and the latter the wife of Fred Leeburg. These twins were bom in Sum- 
ner county, this state. Grace M. was bom on August 29, 1894, in Hutchin- 
son, and is also a teacher in the public schools. Allen J. was also bom in 
Hutchinson, June 9, 1897, and is engaged in clerking. Willie F. was born 
in Hutchinson, September 26, 1899, and is attending school, as are also Mary 
F., bom on August 9, 1902, and Lavina, born on February 24, 1905. One 
other child was bom in this family, Oliver, who died at birth- The Burris 
family are numbered among the excellent people of their home city and are 
descended from forefathers who have been pioneers in their various times, 
moving with the advance of civilization from Ohio over into what is now 
termed the Middle West. Martin Burris hailed with delight the coming of 
the railroads to this section of the country, and during constmctive days 
was known as an expert grade finisher. He worked with the Southern 
Pacific and also with the Northern Pacific in that capacity. 



HUTTON & OSWALD. 



Hutton & Oswald, proprietors of the American Steam Laundry at 
Hutchinson, this county, one of the largest and best-equipped laundries in 
the state of Kansas, long have been recognized as among the most enter- 
prising and progressive forces in the commercial and industrial life of that 
city. After ten other firms had unsuccessfully attempted to establish steam 
laundries in Hutchinson, Mr. Hutton and Mr. Oswald took hold of the situa- 
tion, adopted business-like methods, inaugurated a strictly up-to-date system 
in the operation of their plant and succeeded from the very start. Starting 
in a comparatively small way, they quickly were compelled to enlarge their 
plant, owing to the demands of their growing business, and so continued 
extending their facilities until they came to be recognized as among the lead- 
ers in that form of enterprise in Kansas. 

The American Steam Laundry, which now occupies more than ten times 
the floor space it occupied when its present proprietors took hold on April 
20, 1 89 1, not only does a general laundering business, but is engaged as wdl 
in dr>'-cleaning and employs from seventy-five to one hundred and twenty- 
five persons and maintains agencies in more than one hundred and fifty 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 259 

towns throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. Since 1895 its proprietors, Hut- 
ton & Oswald, have been members of the National Launderers Association 
and since July, 1913, members of the National Association of Dry Cleaners, 
while they have for years taken a prominent part in the affairs of the 
Kansas State Launderers Associatipn, of which Mr. Oswald is the present 
president. Messrs. button &. Oswald also, are extensive landowners in 
Reno county, the owners of a half section of land in Grant township and a 
half section in Medora township, which they devote to alfalfa and fruit 
growing and cattle raising, and are regarded as among the substantial citizens 
of this county. 

Emmett Hutton, senior member of this successful firm, is a native of 
Tennessee, born in Bedford county, that state, December 10, 1866, son of 
Georg^e D. and Mary A. (Houston) Hutton, the latter of whom, before 
her marriage to Mr. Hutton, was the widow of Russell Whiteside, a Tennes- 
see lawyer, and mother of Houston Whiteside, who became one of Hutchin- 
son's most distinguished lawyers. Upon coming to Kansas in 1887 and 
locating in Hutchinson, Mr. Hutton for a year was employed in the office of 
the St. John & Marsh Lumber Company. He then, shortly after the inaugu- 
ration of the mail delivery system in Hutchinson, was appointed a letter 
carrier and was thus engaged for three years, at the end of which time he 
l)OUght an interest in the laimdry business of H. L. Willis & Brother, which 
business, on April 20, 1891, he took over, in partnership with Charley W. 
Oswald,, established the American Steam Laundry and has ever since been 
successfully engaged in that business. Mr. Hutton is a Democrat and gives 
a good citizen's attention to local politics, but has never be^n an aspirant for 
public office. He is a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club, the 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the 
* Modem Woodmen of America, in the affairs of all of which organizations 

j he takes a warm interest. 

On October 25, 1899, Pmmett Hutton was united in marriage to Lottie 
F. Bay, daughter of C. M. and Maggie J, (Sloan) Bay, well-known resi- 
dents of. Roscoe town3hip, this county, and to this union two children have 
been bom, Hildred and Emmett, Jr. The Huttons have a handsome home 
at 320 East Sherman street, where they have resided for years, and where 
they are very pleasantly situated, 

Charley W. Oswald, junior member of the firm of Hutton & Oswald, 
is a native of Ohio, bom in Wayne county, that state, November 3, 1867, 
son of Anthony and Maria (Ewing) Oswald, the former of whom was bom 
in that same county, son of William Oswald, a native of Pennsylvania and 



1 



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26o RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

a pioneer of that section of Ohio, who for more than fifty years was engaged 
in the manufacture of boots and shoes. In 1877 Anthony Oswald and his 
family came to Kansas and settled in Reno county. Mr. Oswald bought 
eighty acres of railroad land in Center township and later bought four hun- 
dred and eighty acres in Salt Creek township, where he farmed for four 
years, at the end of which time, in 1881, he retired from the farm and 
moved to Hutchinson, where he presently became engaged in the real-estate 
business. His wife died in March, 1885, and in 1890 he left Hutchinson 
and for ten years was engaged in the mining business at Joplin and Galena. 
In 1900 he went to Beaumont, Texas, where he ever since has been success- 
fully engaged in the real-estate business. 

Charley W. Oswald was ten years old when he came to Kansas with 
his parents in • 1877. He continued his schooling in the schools of Salt 
Creek township and of Hutchinson and was graduated from the Hutchinson 
high school in 1885, after which for two years he was engaged in teaching 
school. Upon the inauguration of the mail delivery system in Hutchinson 
he was the first letter carrier appointed in that city and entered upon the 
duties of that position on October i, 1887, serving the public in that capacity 
until September i, 1890. On April 20, 1891, he became associated with 
Emmett Hutton in the ownership of the American Steam Laundry at 
Hutchinson and has ever since been thus engaged. Mr. Oswald is a Demo- 
crat and from the days of his youth has been an active figure in the political 
life of this section of the state. For four years he served as a member of 
the Hutchinson city council and when that city adopted the commission form 
of government he was elected one of the members of the first commission 
of three, in April, 1909, and served until May, 191 1, as commissioner of 
public utilities and streets. In 1904 Mr. Oswald was elected a delegate 
from this district to the Democratic national convention and in other ways 
has rendered able service in behalf of his i>arty and the public Mr. Oswald 
is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Knight Templar, a member of the 
blue lodge, the chapter, the council and the commandery at Hutchinson and 
the consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, at Wichita. He also is a 
meml)er of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and takes a warm 
interest in these several fratenial affiliations. He takes an active interest in 
the general business life of the city and is at present vice-president of the 
Hutchinson Commercial Club. 

On May 24, 1896, in Troy township, this county, Charley W. Oswald 
was united in marriage to Myrtle Lewis, daughter of S. C. Lewis and wife, 
and to this union two children have been bom, Anthony L., bom on Decem- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 201 



ber 9, 1898, and C. Wallace, April 11, 1900, both of whom are now students 
in the high school. The Oswalds have a handsome home at 301 Ninth 
avenue, west, where they have resided for years and where they are very 
pleasantly situated. 



SYLVESTER FARTHING. 

Sylvester F^arthing, one of the best-known and most substantial of the 
pioneer farmers of Yoder township, this county, is a native of Tennessee, 
having been Ix)rn in Robinson county, that state, April 22, 1849, son of 
Peter and Elizabeth (Holland) Farthing, the former a native of Virginia 
and the latter of Tennessee, who later became well-known pioneers of this 
county, where their last days were spent. 

Peter Farthing was but a small boy when his parents emigrated from 
Virginia to Tennessee, settling in Robinson county, and there he grew to 
manhood. He married Elizabeth Holland, daughter of Richard Holland, 
a wealthy plantation owner of that county, a large slaveholder and the owner 
of more than one thousand acres of land; a deacon in the Missionary Baptist 
church for many years. Peter Farthing became the owner of a farm in 
Robinson county, but in the late fifties sold out there and moved to Union 
county, where he became the owner of four hundred and fifty acres, which 
he devoted to the raising of com and tobacco. He owned a few slaves, 
but when the division of sentiment on the slavery question arose in Ken- 
tucky he became an ardent Union sympathizer and his former slaves 
remained with him for some time after their freedom had been declared. 
In 1876, attracted by the glowing reports at that time being heard regarding 
conditions in this section of Kansas, Peter Farthing sold his holdings in 
Kentucky and came to Kansas with his wife and their two youngest children, 
Norman and Ella. They located in Reno county and Peter Farthing bought 
a quarter of a section of land in Lincoln township, where he established his 
home and where he and his wife spent the rest of their lives, Ijecoming 
prominent in the pioneer life of that part of the county. Peter Farthing 
was a good farmer and he eventually became the owner of two hundred and 
forty acres surrounding his home. He died there on September 23, 1890, 
at the age of seventy years, and his widow survived him less than two years, 
her death occurring on January 13, 1892, she then being sixty-nine years of 
age. They \vere the parents of seven children, namely: Marcellus, who 
still makes his home in Union county, Kentucky; Sylvester, the subject of 



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262 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

this biographical sketch ; Samantha, who married Pascal Graves and lives 
on a farm in Sedgwick county, this state; Diana, who married John Cole- 
man and lives in Union county, Kentucky; Harriet, who married Henry 
Turner and lives near Coffeyville, this state; Norman, who also lives near 
Coffeyville, and Ella, who married Benjamin Holman and lives in Oklahoma. 

Sylvester Farthing was a small boy when his parents moved from 
Tennessee to Kentucky and he grew up on the home farm in Union county, 
in the latter state. Upon the dissolution of the slavery system the work 
of the farm fell upon him and his brothers and he began to plow as soon 
as he was big enough to hold the plow handles. He assisted his father on 
the farm and remained at home until his marriage in 1868, after which he 
bought a farm of one hundred acres in the neighborhood of his old home 
and began fanning on his own account and was thus engaged there until the 
spring of 1877, when he sold his place and followed his parents to Kansas, 
they having settled in Reno county the year previous. Upon his arrival 
here he bought the southeast quarter of section 29 in Lincoln, now a part 
of Yoder township, and there he established his home in a shack, the lumber 
for building which he hauled from Wichita, sixty miles away. When he 
settled there there was not a tree in sight from his humble home on the 
plain, but it was not long until he had set out a large number of trees and 
had a thrifty grove growing on his place. He prospered in his farming 
operations and for many years has been regarded as one of the substantial 
residents of the Yoder neighborhood, still making his home on the place he 
has occupied for nearly forty years. He and his wife are earnest members 
of the Harmony Baptist church, as are all the members of their family, and 
have for many years been looked upon as among the leaders in good works 
thereabout. 

It was on January 21, 1868, in Union county, Kentucky, that Sylvester 
Farthing was united in marriage to Cassandra Hobbs, who was born in 
Jefferson county, Kentucky, April 3, 1852, daughter of Henson and Sarah 
(Smith) Hobbs, the former of whom died on August 8, 1854, after which 
his widow married George Whitecotton and moved to Union county, where 
her death occurred on April 3, 1874. To Mr. and Mrs. Farthing eight 
children have been born, as follow: Sarah Elizabeth, bom on January 26, 
1869, who married James Green and lives in Yoder, this county; Leonia 
May, May 25, 1872, who died on September 9, 1893; Peter Rice, April 30, 
1874, a well-known farmer of Salt Creek township, this county, a biograph- 
ical sketch of whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Addie Pearl, 
April 8, 1876, who married All>ert Stewart and died on November 25, 1912; 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 263 

Mary Ella, July 17, 1878, who is at home with her parents''; Edna Vesta, 
December 17, 1882, widow of Judson Stewart; Carrie Low, May 9, 1885, 
who married Eugene Moore and Hves on a farm in Lincoln township, and 
Ulah Lillian, Febniary i, 1889, who married Floyd H. Moore and died on 
January 2, 1915. 



JOHN J. BOEHM. 



John J. Boehm, the son of William and CaroHne (Werle) Boehm, was 
bom in Sterling, Illinois, December 2^, 1857. The parents having come 
from Germany in 1850. The father was a building contractor and a cooper. 

To William and Caroline Boehm were bom the following children: 
Elizabeth, the widow of Charles Walz, who was a contractor at Sterling, 
Illinois; Katherine, the wife of George Collins, an assistant in the postoffice 
at Aurora, Illinois; Sarah, the wife of Loren Schneider, a farmer at Wad- 
dams Grove, Illinois ; William, an electrician at Sterling ; Albert, a carpenter 
at Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Adolph, a conductor on a railroad out of 
Omaha, lives at St. James, Minnesota, and John J., the subject of this 
sketch. 

John J. Boehm was educated in the graded schools of Sterling, Illinois. 
After completing his education he followed the trade of a cooper, which 
trade he had learned in the shop of his father when a lad. In 1884 he went 
to Spencer, Clay county, Iowa, and engaged in the manufacturing of butter" 
tubs for creameries. In 1896 he went to Minneapolis, where he remained 
until the next year, when he came to Hutchinson, where he purchased the 
interests of William A. Myers in the laundry business. Since that time he 
has been interested in the modem ''Model" steam laimdry, located at 27-29 
Second avenue, West, and of which he is now the sole owner. 

Mr. Boehm is a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club and takes 
an active interest in all things that tend to assist in the growth and improve- 
ment of the city. He is independent in politics, but always looks to the 
selection of the best men to office. He was for four years the sergeant at 
arms of the Laundrymen's National Association of America, and was the 
president of the Kansas Laundr^^men's Association for one year. 

On March ig, 1885, John J. Boehm was married at Ames, Iowa, to 
Elizabeth J. Erb, the daughter of Jacob and Caroline (Reid) Erb. Mrs. 
Boehm is a native of Ames, while her father was bom in Mar>^land and her 



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264 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

mother at Crestline, Ohio. Her father was for many years a farmer and 
an importer and breeder of pureblood Percheron horses. 

To Mr. and Mrs. John J. Boehm have been born one child, Walter, 
who was born on October 31, 1889, at Spencer, Iowa. He completed the 
work in the grades ad high school at Hutchinson and two years at the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, after which he attended the law department of the 
University of Kansas and graduated with the degree of Doctor of Laws. 
After being admitted to the bar he entered the laundry business of his father 
and now has charge of the office. 

Walte;r Bo^hm was married, December 4, 19 14, at Hutchinson, to Mary 
Lee Vance, a native of Abingdon, Virginia, and the daughter of J. M. 
Vance, whose wife was a Carpenter. The father of Mrs. Boehm was a 
native of Virginia and the mother of Maine. 

Jacob and Caroline Erb were the parents of the following children: 
Harland G., a farmer at Ames. Iowa; Eleanor, the wife of Charles Kuken- 
rall, a farmer of Anthony, Iowa; Rosabel, the wife of M. H. Kelso, a den- 
tist at Ames; Minnie May, the wife of L. M. Maxwell, a farmer at Lee, 
Montana, and Elizal)eth J., wife of John J. Boehm. 



GEORGE W. COOTER. 



George W. Cooter, former county treasurer and a well-known retired 
farrner of Reno county, now living at Hutchinson, where he possesses valu- 
able banking and other interests; an honored veteran of the Civil War, one 
of the real pioneers of Reno county and a man who for years has been 
actively identified with the best interests of this section of the state, is a 
native of England, but has been a resident of the United States since he was 
a babe in arms. He was bom in Sussex on May 3, 1846, son of George W. 
and Martha (Boxall) Cooter, both natives of Kent. 

The senior George W. Cooter was bom in 1820 and was reared on a 
farm, later becoming an expert landscape gardener, doing contract work in 
that line. In 1847 he emigrated with his family to America and located at 
Saybrook, Connecticut, later moving to Cleveland, Ohio, where he remained 
until 1858, in which year he came West and bought a farm in Jackson 
county, Missouri, where he remained until practically driven out by his pro- 
slavery neighbors, whose violeiTt opiX)sition to his well-known anti-slavery 
views and ardent support of the Union cause compelled him to seek security 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 265 

for himself and family over the line in Kansas. He located at Leavenworth 
in 1862, and in that neighborhood rented a farm, where his death occurred 
in 1867, he then being forty-seven years of age. His widow survived until 
1882, she being sixty-eight years of age at the time of her death. 

George W. Cooter, Jr., was about one year old when his parents came 
to the United States and his early schooling was obtained in the public 
schools of Cleveland. He was twelve years old when the family left that 
city and moved to Missouri, and was fifteen years old when the Civil War 
broke out. He was a big, vigorous, robust boy. In 1862 his father, whose 
name was also George W., had enrolled his name for enlistment, but when 
the call came at Independence, Missouri, the father was sick and was wor- 
ried because he could not respond, so the son said he would go and answer 
the call for muster for the father, which he did, and was accepted, and 
instead of coming back as he agreed he went on with his company the next 
morning, in Company E, Twenty-fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infan- 
try, and served with the Army of the West until September 20, 1865. He 
was attached to Company C, First Engineering Corps, with which he served 
until the close of the war, being classed as an artificer. During his service 
in the Engineering Corps, Mr. Cooter >vas attached to the Fifteenth Army 
Corps, under Gen. John A. Logan, and was with Sherman in the march to 
the sea, engaged in reconstructing bridges destroyed by the enemy. At the 
close of the war Mr. Cooter participated in the Grand Review at Washing- 
ton and was not yet twenty years old when he returned to his home in Leav- 
enworth, a veteran of one of the greatest wars in history. 

Upon the completion of his military service, Mr. Cooter served a three- 
years apprenticeship to a carriage smith at Leavenworth and became thor- 
oughly proficient in that trade, which he later followed for four years, in the 
employ of Moore & Jennings at Leavenworth, after which he was given the 
position of foreman of the carriage department of the federal prison at 
Leavenworth. In the meantime, in 1871, he had married and after retaining 
his foremanship for thirteen months, decided to join the homestead move- 
ment, then setting in strongly toward this section of the state, and in 1873 
came with his wife and baby son to Reno county. Upon arriving here Mr. 
Cooter homesteaded a tract of land in Little River township, where he estab- 
lished his home, being one of the very earliest settlers of that part of the 
county. Presently he also entered a timber claim and as his affairs pros- 
pered gradually enlarged his land holdings until he eventually became the 
owner of eight hundred acres of land in Little River township and what is 
now Medora township. To his general farming operations he added cattle 



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266 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

raising and was also quite successful in that line, soon coming to be regarded 
as one of Reno county's most substantial citi2^ens. For his own convenience 
and that of his neighbors he also set up a smithy on his farm and later 
moved the same to Medora, where he kept it going for several years. 

Mr. Cooter was early elected treasurer of Medora township arid for 
years served in that important public capacity. From the very day of the 
organization* of the Republican party Mr. Cooter has been a loyal and stead- 
fast adherent of that party and took an active part in local political affairs. 
In 1892 he attended the Reno county Republican convention, without ever 
a thought of being a candidate for any county office, and was very much 
astonished to find himself nominated for the office of county treasurer. 
There were several avowed candidates for nomination to that place on the 
ticket, but Air. Cooter was not a candidate and no previous mention of his 
name had been made in that connection. When the call for nominations 
for treasurer was made a farmer delegate in the convention secured the floor 
and placed the name of George W. Cooter in nomination, and the "dark 
horse'* was nominated on the first ballot, very much to the surprise of the 
nominee. That was the year after the Populists swept Kansas and the 
Republicans came back and elected their men to every office in Reno county. 
George W. Cooper was one of these and in due time he entered the duties of 
the office of county treasurer. He was re-elected in the next campaign, and 
thus served two terms in the treasurer's office. During his incumbency in 
that office Mr. Cooter made his home in Hutchinson, the county seat, but 
upon the expiration of his term of public service returned to his farm in 
Medora township, where he lived until his final retirement from the farm, 
since which time he has made his home in Hutchinson. In 1905 he built a 
fine home at 314 Fourth avenue, east, and there he and his wife are now 
living, very pleasantly situated. Mr. Cooter has sold his farm lands and 
has made other investments. He is a director of the State Exchange Bank 
and takes an active interest in the general affairs of the business community, 
but his greatest pleasure is found in the exercise of his undoubted skill and 
ingenuity as a wood-carver, which, now in the days of his comfortable 
retirement, has become a delightful *'hobby" with him and those who have 
seen the results of his work with a jack-knife and a piece of wood declare 
that he accomplishes wonders along that line. Mr. Cooter is past com- 
mander of Joe Hooker Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and continues 
to take a warm interest in the affairs of that patriotic organization. 

In 1 87 1, at Leavenworth, this state, George W. Cooter was united in 
marriage to Elizabeth Hartford, who was born in Coleraine, County Lon- 



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REKO county, KANSAS. 267 

donderry, Ireland, in 1846, daughter of William and Martha Hartford, the 
former of whom died in England at the age of thirty-six, his daughter, 
Elizabeth, then being but five years old. In 1861 the latter and her mother 
came to this country to visit her brothers in New York and six years later 
came to Kansas, locating at Leavenworth, where she married Mr. Cooter. 
To this union four children have been born, as follow : Fred W., now presi- 
dent of the State Exchange Bank of Hutchinson, a biographical sketch of 
whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Elizabeth, who married Clifton 
J. Kyker and now lives at Gulf port, Mississippi; Clara, who married D. 
Winters and lives at St. Joseph, Missouri, and George, a prosperous farmer, 
living near Lamar, Colorado. 



FRANKLIN EDWARD DILLON. 

Franklin Edward Dillon, one of the most successful farmers residing 
in the vicinity of Hutchinson, Kansas, is a native of Macoupin county, lUi- 
tvov^, where he was bom on December 20, 1877. He is the son of J. W. and 
HAen (Preble) Dillon, the former of whom, a retired farmer, makes his 
home in Alton, Madison county, Illinois. He is a veteran of the Civil War, 
having given active service in saving the Union for three years during the 
conflict. Mr. Dillon has always been an ardent advocate of the principles 
of the Republican party and in religious views gives support to the Meth- 
odist church. His wife, who is deceased, was also a prominent member 
of the same church. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Dillon are: 
Oscar, OUie, Jasper, Roy, and Franklin Edward. 

In the public schools of Jersey, Illinois, Franklin E. Dillon received his 
elementary education. Upon completing the common school course he began 
to work as a farmer on his father's farm. He remained on the home place 
assisting his father until he was twenty-three years of age and at the end of 
that time came to Reno country, Kansas, where he obtained employment on 
the farm owned at that time by Frank Dan fords. He remained on this 
farm, which was in Reno township, for two years when he went to work 
on the Femic ranch in Lincoln township. After a year spent in this town- 
ship, he rented a farm with which he was occupied for a few years, 
until he bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Reno township, 
just west of Hutchinson. For the last few years, the subject of this sketch 
has rented a tract of one hundred and twenty-five acres of land, belonging 



i 



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268 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

to his wife's mother, aiid adjoining her home place. Mr. Dillon divides his 
time as a farmer between his own farm and the rented land, occupying the 
latter as a residence. 

In the fraternal affairs of the county in which he resides the subject of 
this sketch takes an active interest. He holds membership in the Modern 
Woodmen of America and plays a jxirt in local commercial life. He is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Reno township and in his 
political views is in favor of the Republican cause, although in local politics 
he votes independently. 

On April 3, 1907, Franklin Edward Dillon was married to Susie V. 
Wildin, a native of Reno county, Kansas, and the daughter of John and 
Electa (Hoskins) Wildin. To this union the following children have been 
born: Floyd, who was born in January, 1908; Kermit, Esther and Wilma. 

John F. Wildin, deceased, father of Mrs. Dillon, was one. of the most 
popular men of the community in which he resided. He was bom in York 
county, Pennsylvania, on November 13, 185 1, the son of George and Caro- 
line (Keener) Wildin, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, and 
descendants of an old German family, who were termed in the early days 
of colonial life, the "Pennsylvania-Dutch.'' The family gave support to the 
Lutheran church. George Wildin, who was a plasterer by trade, moved 
with his family to Pike county, Illinois, in 1858, where he bought a farm 
and turned over his plastering trade to his sons. In 1882 he moved to Rush 
county, Kansas, where he remained a few years before moving to Hutchin- 
son, where he lived until his death, which occurred in 191 2. His wife passed 
away on September i, 1899. The couple reared a family of four children 
as follow: William J., who lives in north Reno township; Calvin, who 
resides in Pueblo, Colorado, where he is enja^aged in the real-estate business; 
Susan, who l^ecame the wife of Jacob Musser, and who died in 1897, and 
John F. 

John F. Wildin was the eldest in the family and at the age of seven 
years moved with his parents from Pennsylvania to Pike county, IlHnois. 
where he attended the public schools. He was trained from youth to assume 
the duties of farm life, and remained as an assistant to his father on the 
farm until he reached the age of manhood. After his marriage he rented 
land from his father for three years, and in 1880 was able to buy a farm 
of his ow^n. He purchased four hundred and eighty acres of land in Rush 
county, Kansas, where he continued to reside for nine years, leaving the 
place in 1889. He located in the Park addition of Hutchinson, where he 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 269 

lived for two years, before buying a farm in Enterprise township. In 1892 
he bought two hundred and sixty acres in Reno township and lived on what 
yyas known as the Hetock place, until his death. The farm residence was 
built by Mr. Wildin in 1894. He also assisted in building the Methodist 
church as a member of the building committee. His wife also held mem- 
bership in the Methodist church of Reno township. Mr. Wildin for a num- 
ber of years served as steward of the church and also as trustee and during 
that time was faithful in his attendance at the services. 

On March 11, 1877, John F. Wildin was united in marriage to Electa 
Hoskin, a native of Pike county, Illinois, and the daughter of Isaac and 
Mary Jane (Mosier) Hoskin, the fonner of whom was a native of Pike 
county, Illinois. Mary (Mosier) Hoskin was bom in Monroe county, Indi- 
ana, and died in Illinois. She w^s a prominent member of the Methodist 
church of the district in which she resided. The children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. John Wildin are as follow : Mary, who became the wife, of W. S. 
William and who reside in Lincoln township; Carrie, who married John 
Miller, a farmer of Rush county, Kansas; Susie, who became the wife of 
Franklin E. Dillon; Janie, who lives with her mother in Reno township; 
Electa and Frederick, who are also residing on the home place. 



WILLIAM ELBERT LONG. 

William Elbert Long is a native of Tennessee. He was bom in Athens, 
McMinn county, in that state, March 28, 1862, the son of Erastus R. and 
Etharilla A. (Cassada) Long. The father was born in South Carolina, 
February 7, 1836, but the greater part of his life was spent at Athens, 
Tennessee, where he followed the occupation of a farmer. He also learned 
the trade of wagon-maker while living in his Tennessee home. The elder 
Long, with his family, left Athens, Tennessee, October 12, 1877, ^"^ ^^- 
rived at Hutchinson, Kansas, October 14, 1877. He entered one hundred 
and sixty acres of trust land located in the southern part of Reno county. 
There he built a home and engaged in farming until his death, which 
occurred in November, 1885. He was a Mason, a Republican and a Meth- 
odist. Etharilla A. (Cassada) Long was born in Tennessee, November 28, 
1839, 2^d is still living. Mr. and Mrs. Erastus Long were married in 
McMinn county, Tennessee, April 17, 1859, and were the parents of the fol- 
lowing children: Jacob W., born in Athens, Tennessee, March 7, i860, 



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270 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

died on November 19, 1913; William Elbert, the subject of this sketch; 
Cordelia M., born in Athens, Tennessee, November 24, 1866, died on Aug- 
ust II, 1867; Ida, born in Athens, Tennessee, September 24, 1868, married 
John A. Cole, a rancher in Meade county, Kansas; Mittie, born in Athens, 
Tennessee, July 9, 1871, married William Cannan, a farmer near Cherokee, 
Oklahoma; Frank, born in Athens, Tennessee, November 28, 1873; Bertha, 
born in Reno county, Kansas, December 20, 1878. 

William Elbert Long was educafed in the public schools of Athens and 
Wesleyan University, of same place, and assisted his father in farming until 
the death of the father, in 1882. In 1878, while but a youth of sixteen 
years, William E. Long 'iocated'* one hundred and sixty acres of govern- 
ment land adjoining his father's land, and later entered and proved up the 
same, obtaining a clear title in 1884, which he still owns. He remained on 
the farm until 1898, when he was elected sheriff of Reno county and re- 
moved to ^Jutchinson. He held the office of sheriff of the county for five 
years, or two and a half terms, although the state law only permitted two 
terms in succession for that office; the half term was on account of change 
to biennial elections. 

Mr. Long was engaged in the plumbing and heating business from 
1904 to 1909; since then retired. He was a member of the Hutchinson city 
council two terms, from 1904 to 1908, as a representative from the third 
ward. He supported the administration of Mayor J. P. Harsha, in the mat- 
ter of building the drainage canal frorh Cow creek to the Arkansas river, 
as a measure for protection from floods. Politically, Mr. Long has always 
affiliated with the Republican party. Fraternally, he is a thirty-second de- 
gree Mason, a Knight Templar, a Mystic Shriner, a member of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, 
Modern Woodmen of America, and the Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks. 

On April 27, 1897, William E. Long was married to Sarah C. Baker, 
in Pawnee county, Nebraska. She was the daughter of Frederick' W. Baker 
and Sarah Elizabeth (Long) Baker, who were married on October 5, 1862. 
Mrs. Long's father was born in Kentucky, March 8, 1833, and died in 
Arlington, Reno county, Kansas, April 18, 191 3. His occupation was that 
of a farmer. During the Civil War, Mr. Baker was commissioned by Gov- 
ernor Johnson, of Tennessee, as recruiting officer, and was afterward cap- 
tain in a Tennessee regiment. He was a member of the Grand Army of the 
Republic post at Arlington, Kansas, and a member of the Methodist Episco- 
palchurch. In politics he was a Republican. Mrs. Long's mother was bom 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 2/1 

in Bradley county, Tennessee, November 17, 1842, and is now living at 
Arlington, Reno county, Kansas. 

Mrs. Sarah (Baker) Long was bom in Benton, Polk county, Tennes- 
see, July 21, 1871, and died in Hutchinson, Kansas, August 18, 1913. The 
c\\\Adren born to Mr. and Mrs. Long are: Cella E., born on July 12, 1898; 

CViarles E., February 14, 1903; Chester E., January 5, 1906; all bom in 

Hutchinson, Reno county, Kansas. 



ELMER L. BREWER. 



Elmer L. Brewer, superintendent of the printing department of the 
Hutchinson News was bom in McLean county, Illinois, December 4, 1863, 
one of the family of five children of James and Susan (West fall) Brewer. 
Belle, a sister, is the widow of Charles N. Davis, for many years a news- 
paper man at Port Arthur, Texas. His death occurred on April 4, 191 1. 
Charles, a brother, is a farmer in McLean county, Illinois, where Walter, 
the youngest of the family, also lives, engaged in the same occupation. 
Nellie, is the wife of. Charles C. Russell, a dealer in w^U paper and paint, 
located at Coffeyville, this state. James Brewer was a native of Kentucky, 
bom in Franklin county, near the city of Frankfort, October 20, 1837. 
He was a farmer and nurseryman all his life and died at Cpffeyville, this 
state, March 10, 1914. Susan (Westfall) Brewer was bom in Lerpy, Illi- 
nois, July 6, 1841, and died on November 3, 1909, while the family was 
residing in AtcLean county, Illinois. 

Elmer- L; Brewer received his earlier education in the grade schools 
of Leroy, Illinois, and after completing his studies was apprenticed to a 
printer in that town where he learned the trade to which he has given him- 
self since that time. He came to Hutchinson in April, of 1886, to accept a 
position with the HutchUvson Ncivs and has been on the staff of that publi- 
cation since that time. For eight years he was assistant foreman in .the 
printing room and has been superintendent of that department for the past 
eighteen years. Mr. Brewer has also become a stockholder of the company 
and is an active member of Typographical Union No. 243, also of the Indcr 
pendent Order of Red Men. He is independent in politics and holds his 
religious membership with the Methodist Episcopal church, to the support 
of which he gives liberally of time and means. 

On January i, 1808, Elmer L. Brewer was married in Hutchinson to 



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272 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Delia M. Sloan, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Sheridan) Sloan, bom 
at Ashland, Ohio, December 15, 1861. Her father was a native of Penn- 
sylvania, bom in New Derry, Westmoreland county, December 15, 1835, 
and was a farmer all the active years of his life. Her mother, who is also 
dead, was bom in Ashland, Ohio, March 10, 1840. Mrs. Brewer has two 
brothers, namely: William J. Sloan, cashier of the Halstead Bank, Hal- 
stead, this state, and Alva L. Sloan, in the abstract and title business at San 
Bemardino, California. The Brewer home is a handsome residence located 
at 625 Fourth avenue. East, Hutchinson, where Mr. Brewer took his bride 
shortly after their marriage. 



ALPHEUS EWER ELLIOTT. 

The late Alpheus Ewer Elliott, who for years was one of the best-known 
and most progressive merchants in Hutchinson, this county, was a native of 
Maine, having been born in the town of Vasselboro, that state, on Novem- 
ber 24, 1843, son of Francis and Mary (Robinson) Elliott, both natives of 
Maine. The Elliotts are of English descent, the family in this country 
having descended from an Elliott who was among the very early settlers in 
New England. Francis Elliott, who was a ship builder and an earnest 
Quaker, was the son of a soldier in the patriot army during the Revolution- 
ary War. He and his wife were the parents of nine children, who grew to 
maturity. 

Alpheus Ewer Elliott received his education in the public schools of 
his home town and was seventeen years of age when the Civil War broke 
out. His youthful heart was fired with patriotic fervor and he at once 
attempted to enlist for service in the regiment that was being formed in his 
part of the state, but was rejected on account of his age. Nothing daunted, 
however, and still determined to fight for the cause of the union of the 
states, he ran away from home and went to Massachusetts, boldly declared 
himself to be twenty-one years of age and enlisted in the Twenty-second 
Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, with which he served until the close of the 
war. During this full term of service he never was wounded, though hav- 
ing participated in many important and severe engagements, and never was 
on the hospital roll but once, that temporary disability having been caused by 
long exposure in killing weather. 

At the close of the war Alpheus E. Elliott, then a veteran, though still 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 273 

little more than a boy in years, returned to Massachusetts with his returning 
regiment and stopped at Fall River, which he made his home for more than 
ten years. He married there in 1871 and then engaged in the grocery busi- 
ness, which he continued quite successfully for some years. In 1878, warned 
by the failing state, of his health, and at the advice of his physician and 
friends, he decided to come West, believing that a change of climate would 
prove beneficial. With his family he came to Kansas, locating in the town 
of Ottawa, where he engaged in the loan business. After about ten years of 
residence in Ottawa, Mr. Elliott determined to push on further West, the 
state of his health again beginning to trouble him, and decided to locate at 
Qieyenne, Wyoming. En route, he stopped off at Hutchinson, this county, 
and so favorably was he impressed with general conditions and the salub- 
rity of the climate hereabout that he decided to remain. That was in 1889 
and the remainder of his life was spent in Hutchinson. Upon locating in 
Hutchinson, Mr. Elliott engaged in the retail furniture business, his place of 
business having been in the 300 block in North Main street, and there and 
thus he continued in business until 1895, in which year the gradually failing 
condition of his health compelled his retirement from business and he lived 
as an invalid for eleven years, his death occurring on February 13, 1906, 
his widow and one child surviving him. His widow passed away on Novem- 
ber 27, 1915. 

On October 12, 1871, at Fall River, Massachusetts, xMpheus E. Elliott 
was united in marriage to Myra Martha Bowers, who was born in Med ford, 
Massachusetts, daughter of Capt. John and Elizabeth (Jones) Bowers, mem- 
bers of old families thereabout, the two families having been represented in 
and about Medford for generations. John Bowers was a sea captain, mas- 
ter of his own vessel, engaged in the coastwise trade, who died of yellow 
fever at New Orleans when his only daughter, Myra, was a baby. His 
widow survived him but three years and the orphaned little girl, the only 
child, was reared by her uncle, James Dudley, at Waltham, Massachusetts. 

To Alpheus E. and Myra M. (Bowers) Elliott two children were born, 
Charles, who died at the age of two years, and Myra Gertrude, born in 
1877, who married Jonas Geyer, manual training instructor in the Hutchinson 
high school, and has two children, both sons, Alpheus Edward and Sheflfey 
Elliott. Mr. and Mrs. Geyer live at the mother's old home, at 21 Sixth 
avenue, east, in Hutchinson, which has been the Elliott residence for the 
past quarter of a century. 

(r8a) 



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274 RENO COUNTY. KANSAS. 



JOSIAH WATSON ABEL. 



Josiah Watson Abel, the son of William Theodore and Nancy (Watson) 
Abel, was born at Shoals, Martin county, Indiana, the early home and the 
birthplace of both of his parents. His grandparents, on both sides, were 
pioneer settlers in the county. His maternal grandfather lost his life fight- 
ing the Indians. 

William Theodore Abel has devoted his life to farming. At the age 
of sixteen, he enlisted in an Indiana company, in 1864, and served in the 
ranks until the close of the Civil War, having taken part in the sieges of 
Nashville and Atlanta. He and his wife now live at Belle, Missouri. 

To William T. and Nancy Abel have been bom the following children : 
Christopher, a contractor at Festus, Missouri; George N., a farmer at 
Byron, Missouri; Henry W., in the produce business at Belle; Isola May, at 
home with the parents; Ida, the wife of John Kite, a farmer at South 
DeSoto, Missouri; Claudia, the wife of Henry Kausler, a dairyman at Fes- 
tus, Missouri; Emma, the wife of Amos Nicholson, a merchant at Moun- 
tain View, Missouri, and Josiah Watson. 

Josiah Watson Abel received his education in the district schools of 
Martin county, and was graduated from the high school at Shoals. He 
then took two and one-half years work at the Normal school at Shoals, and 
taught in the grades of his home town, until he entered McKendree College 
at Lebanon, Illinois. After completing his college work he was ordained 
a deacon by Bishop Andrews, now deceased, and at Alton, Illinois, he was 
ordained an elder by Bishop Fitzgerald, also deceased. 

The first charge of Reverend Abel was at Decker Station, Indiana, where 
he remained for some time, after which he engaged in evangelistic work in 
the Indiana Methodist conference. He was later transferred to the South- 
ern Illinois conference and for four years was pastor of the Methodist 
church at Alton, Illinois. From Alton he was transferred to Granite City, 
where he built Niedringhaus Memorial Methodist Episcopal church. He 
then entered the Des Moines conference and served in succession at Council 
Bluffs, Carroll, Clarinda and Des Moines. In the latter city he was pasior 
of the Wesley Methodist Episcopal church. In 19 12 he entered the south- 
western Kansas conference and on September 19, 1912, he was assigned to 
the First church at Hutchinson, where he preached his first sermon on Sep- 
tember 20, 19 1 2. In three years he has received into the church one thousand 
members, the membership now numbering about eighteen hundred. The 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 275 

Sunday school has had a gradual growth and last year the average attend- 
ance was seven hundred and forty-six, the total enrollment being fourteen 
hundred. The prayer meetings are weW attended, the Epworth League and 
the Young People's League have an attendance of two hundred. On August 
10, 1915, the First church, as a foster parent, took over the Stewart hospital 
for the Methodist Episcopal church. The church contributes twenty-two 
hundred dollars to home and foreign missions, besides maintaining a repre- 
sentative in India, who is the superintendent of the Hingwah district. Three 
thousand two hundred dollars are given annually for benevolences. The 
Indies' Aid Society is an important factor in the life of the church, the 
pastor's wife taking an active part in the work, as well as in all the other 
churvh foc'eties. The church is located at the j^outheast corner of First 
avenue. East, and Walnut street. The society also owns a large and hand- 
some parsonage at 322 First avenue. East. 

Keveiend Abel is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, 
Indq)endent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Work- 
men. He is prominent in the activities of the various orders. He has done 
much lyceum work with the Jeffries-Wicks Chautauqua System of Des 
Moines. 

On December 27, 1900, Josiah Watson Abel was united in marriage at 
St. Joseph, Missouri, to Lillian May, the daughter of Frederick and Kath- 
erine (Dersch) May. She is a native of Brunswick, Missouri. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Al)el have been born two children : Katherine May, born at Carrol, 
Iowa, and Margaret Emma, born at Des Moines. 



FRED H. CARPENTER. 

Fred H. Carpenter, son of George W. and Diana (Howard) Carpen- 
ter, was born in West Stephenson, Xew York, September 20, 1857. His 
father came to Reno county in 1871 and homesteaded one hundred and 
sixty acres, and afterward l)Oiight a railroad quarter. This land he culti- 
vated until 1880, when he removed to Hutchinson and went into the livery 
business, the livery barn being located where the postoffice is now. He 
continued in that business until his death, which occurred on June 28, 1903. 
George W. Carpenter was born in West Stephentown, Xew York, August 23, 
1834. He was one of the first trustees of Clay township, in Reno county, 
where he first settled; was a charter members of the Baptist church; a char- 



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276 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



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ter member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen; a Mason and a 
Knight Templar. His political affiliations were with the Republican party. 
Diana (Howard) Carpenter was born in Rensselaer county, New York, 
November 7, 1838, and died November 17, 1868. In 1877 George W. Car- 
penter was married, secondly, to Amanda M. Bly, at Waterloo, Iowa. She 
is still livhig in Hutchinson. Fred H. Carpenter had two sisters: Minnie, 
widow of Benjamin F. Montgomery, a lawyer of Denver, Colorado; Flor- 
ence, born in Reno county, in 1878, died in Hutchinson in 1894. 

Fred H. Carpenter was educated in the district schools of Reno county 
and at the State Normal at Emporia, Kansas, and then took a course in civil 
engineering in the state university, at Lawrence, Kansas, completing the 
course in three years. In 1880 he entered the service of the Sante Fe rail- 
road, in the civil engineering department, in the town of McPherson, on the 
line between Florence and Ellinwood. Later he was transferred to old 
Mexico and then to Arizona. These positions he held until 1884, when he 
was elected county surveyor of Reno county. He held this position for ten 
years. In November, 1884, he was appointed city engineer of Hutchinson, 
which position he held for seventeen years. He was the first engineer of 
Hutchinson and established all the street grades, laid out the sewer system 
and built the bridges. Fie was also the surveyor for the Arkansas Valley 
Town and Land Company— the townsite department of the Sante Fe rail- 
road — from 1890 to 1898. He has been roadmaster for the Sante Fe rail- 
road for twenty years, and now has headquarters in Hutchinson. He is a 
blue lodge, chapter and commandery Mason, and a member of the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen. His political affiliation is with the Republican 
party; his church relationship is with the Presbyterian denomination. 

Mr. Carpenter was married, October 13, 1886, in Seward county, 
Kansas, to Amanda M. Saunders, who was born in Waterloo, Iowa, Octo- 
ber 10, 1865. She is the daughter of Hosea A. and Sarah J. (Bly) Saun- 
ders, who were born near West Stephentown, New York; the former July 7, 
1826, and the latter, March 7, 1831. Mr. Saunders was a blacksmith by 
trade, and was superintendent of the shops of the Illinois Central Railroad 
Company at Waterloo, Iowa, for a number of years, about 1870. He died 
in 1896. His wife died at the home of her daughter in Hutchinson, Febru- 
ary 17, 1916. , 

Mrs. Carpenter's brothers and sisters are: William B., a farmer near 
Rolfe, Iowa, died in 1901; Herl^ert D., a piano tuner, Portland, Oregon; 
Allen H., a farmer, Princeton, Oregon; Frank, a photographer. Woodward, 
Oklahoma; Kate B., who married Stuart F. Brady, a lawyer of Caruthers- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 277 

ville, Missouri, was sui)erintendent of schools in Seward county, Kansas, 
from 1895 to 1901- A brother of Mrs. Carpenter, James I., died at the age 
of three years, in Waterloo, Iowa. 

Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter have no children of their own, but Lelia M. 
Saunders, a daughter of Herbert D. Saunders, came to live with them, 
March 9, 1895, as their daughter, and has lived with them ever since. Her 
mother died on December 27, 1894. She graduated at Hutchinson high 
school, and at Forest Park University, St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Saunders 
has a handsome residence at 329 Fourth avenue. East. 



GEORGE LUTHER CROW. 

Among the prominent agriculturists of Reno county, Kansas, is George 
Luther Crow, who has been a resident of this section of the state for twenty- 
seven years. He was born in Noble county, Ohio, on March 25, 1874, and 
came to this county with his parents, Isaac and Mary (Calvert) Crow, at 
the age of fifteen years. The family traces its origin in this country to 
Frederick Crow, the great grandfather of the subject of this sketch, who 
was a native of Pennsylvania and a son of German parents. He married 
Rachel Enochs, of English descent, who accompanied him on his journey 
to the Middle West, in a covered wagon. The couple settled in Monroe 
county, Ohio, where Mr. Crow built a large log cabin in the center of a 
forest tract he had obtained through a grant from the government. The 
cabin is still standing today and is a monument to the early struggles of the 
pioneers of that section of Ohio in which it was erected. The surrounding 
land is owned at the present time by George Reed, a descendant of Frederick 
Crow. Before his death, Frederick Crow had become an extensive land- 
owner and was known throughout the community as a prominent Democrat 
of that locality. 

Jacob Crow, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Pennsylvania in 1790, and as a lx)y traveled with his parents in the most 
primitive manner from the East to Monroe county, Ohio. He was reared 
to the discipline of farm life and at the age of twenty-seven, after he had 
Income successful as a farmer, married Mary leisure, a native of Monroe 
county, Ohio, and the daughter of Jeremiah Laisure, a pioneer settler of 
Ohio. Soon after his marriage, Jacob Crow moved to what is now called 
Noble county, where he entered a government claim on one hundred and 



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278 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

sixty acres of land, located on the east branch of Duck creek, between the 
towns of Stafford and Harrietsville. Before his death, Mr. Crow added 
one hundred and sixty acres to his farm, which gave him profitable returns. 
At the age of fifty-six years, in 1846, Mr. Crow passed away. He was an 
active member of the Methodist Episcopal church and also held a high place 
in Democratic politics. 

The children bom to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Crow are as follow : Eliza- 
beth, who died in Noble county, Ohio; George, who passed away in 1889 
in Reno county, Kansas; Anne, who died in Washington county, Ohio; 
Nancy, who passed away in 1809 in Wyandott county, Ohio; Isaac, who 
became the father of the subject of this sketch; Jacob, who was killed in the 
Civil War while serving in the Union anny; Mary, who passed away while 
still a child ; Rhoda and Cynthia, both of whom died in Noble county ; Mar- 
tin, who died in Hutchinson, Kansas ; Robert who died in Ohio, and Dianthe, 
who makes her home in Wyandot county, Ohio. 

In the district schools of Noble county, Ohio, Isaac Crow received the 
rudimentary branches of education. At the age of fourteen his father died 
and the boy was thrown upon his own resources with little or no chance of 
going to school. He followed the simple lines of farming until he reached 
the age of manhood, when he began to assume management of the farm of 
his father, and after a short time was able to buy out his mother's share in 
the estate. From year to year he added to his possessions by buying out the 
shares of each heir until he became, through firm purpose of achievement 
and untiring energy, sole owner of the original homestead. He erected a 
beautiful residence and built one of the finest barns in that section of the 
county, a structure large enough to shelter three hundred head of cattle. 
Through constant care and applied labor his farm became one of the most 
cultivated in the state. In 1889 he sold the farm for the sum of fifteen 
thousand dollars, and moved to Reno county, Kansas, where he bought the 
west half of section 17, in Reno township, to which he later added seventy 
acres to the southern lx)undary. In 1895 he moved to Hutchinson, where 
he resided for tv/o years. At the end of that time he decided to return once 
more to farm life, which had always appealed to him, and bought a home 
in section 19, of Reno township, where he lived until his death, which 
occurred on March 3, 1903. His wife, who is a native of Monroe county, 
Ohio, still desides on the farm, at the age of eighty years. At one time Mr. 
Crow was owner of eight hundred and ten acres of land, most of which he 
divided among his children before his death. He was elected county com- 
missioner in 1886 and filled the duties of his office in a manner deserving 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 279 

of the highest praise. During his three yeafs of service he made a brilliant 
record and made more improvements in Noble county, Ohio, than that sec- 
tion of the state had experienced in twenty-five years. Among the institu- 
tions established by him at this time were the county infirmary and the chil- 
drens' home. 

The marriage of Isaac Crow to Mary A. Calvert took place on August 
I, 1859. Mrs. Crow is a native of Belmont county, Ohio, spent most of her 
girlhood in Monroe county, of the same state. She is the daughter of Jacob 
and Mary (Powell) Calvert, the former of whom was a Virginian, of 
Scotch-Irish descent, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania, where she was 
bom of Welsh parents. Mr. Calvert enhsted in the War of 1812, but never 
entered active service. To the union of Isaac and Mary Calvert Crow the 
following children were born: Adalaska, who died in infancy; Leola Dell, 
an artist, who resides in Hutchinson, Kansas ; Edward Gordon, who follows 
the occupation of a farmer in Salt Creek township, Reno county; Charles 
R., who died in infancy ; Cornelia, who is also dead ; Elizabeth, who became 
the wnfe of Frank Danford and who resides in Reno county, Kansas; W. R., 
a resident of Hutchinson; George, the subject of this sketch; Roswell Hol- 
land, who died in infancy, and Otis, a farmer of Colorado. 

George Luther Crow attended the public schools of Noble county, Ohio, 
and came West with his parents, who settled in Reno county, Kansas, about 
1889. On his father's farm the subject of this sketch learned some of his 
most valuable lessons regarding agricultural life. After reaching the age of 
manhood he assumed management of his father's farm and continued at this 
occupation until he was able to buy a farm of his own. He bought a quarter 
of a section of land in Reno township, of this county, where he lives at the 
present time. The farm is located in section 19, township 23, range 6 west. 
From time to time he has continued to buy small tracts of land until he is 
now considered an extensive landowner. He owns eighty acres in section 
18, and half a section of pasture land near the vicinity of Hutchinson, the 
exact location of which is in the north half of section 13, township 23, 
range 6 west. Mr. Crow makes a specialty of raising fine cattle and mules 
and has one hundred and fifty young mules on hand annually. He gives 
much time to the breeding of cattle and keeps a herd of two hundred and 
fifty head of full-bred Galloway cattle. He has kept the farm in the best 
state of improvement and has built, aside from other buildings, a large 
cement bam. 

Mr. Crow has a personality which has gained for him a wide popu- 
larity in the community in which he lives. As a member of the Republican 



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28o RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

party he has been elected to serve on the township school board. He takes 
an active interest in educational affairs and talks as an authority on school 
questions of the township. Fraternally, Mr. Crow is a member of the Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
Since the building of the first Methodist church in Reno township, when he 
acted as a member of the building committee, the subject of this sketch has 
taken an active interest in church welfare. 

The marriage of George L. Crow and Katie Jackson took place on 
January 23, 1895. Mrs. Crow, who is the daughter of James Jackson, is a 
native of Saline county, Missouri. Her father, who was a farmer and a 
stockman, lived with his daughter during the four years preceding his death, 
which occurred after he had reached the age of seventy-four years. 

Mr. and Mrs. Crow have one daughter, Oberia, who was born on 
December 27, 1897, ^.nd an adopted son, Gilbert, who, though not legally 
adopted, has made his home with the Crow family since he was three years 
old, or since 1905. They also raised Golden Hall from early childhood 
until her marriage to Ira Baldwin, a traveling man of Medford, Oklahoma. 



T. R. McLaughlin. 



T. R. Mcl-aughlin, a retired farmer of Hutchinson, Reno county, Kan- 
sas, was born in Henry county, Illinois, January 26, 1855, the son of Dr. 
Josiah B. and Harriett (McMillan) McLaughlin, both of whom were bom 
in Butler county, Pennsylvania, and are now deceased. Dr. Josiah B. Mc- 
Laughlin was a doctor of medicine and practiced for many years in Illinois. 
He was a stanch Republican in politics and was always more or less active 
in political affairs. Both he and his wife were devout members of the 
Methodist church and brought their family up in that faith. They were the 
parents of ten children, all of whom are living except one. The children 
are as follow: T. R., the subject of this sketch; Catherine, who married 
C. J. Myers, a grocer of Davenport, Iowa; Henry, a fruit farmer near 
Seattle, Washington; Frank, a barber of Geddes, South Dakota; Lizzie, 
who married Richard Stults, a merchant of Oronogo, Missouri; Harriett, 
who married a Mr. Yergin and died in Februar>% 191 3, at Sterling, Illinois, 
where she was a doctor known as H. A. Yergin, M. D. ; Minnie, who mar- 
ried Harry Beaumont, of Chicago, Illinois, and is a teacher of vocal music 
at Drake's University; Anna, who is the wife of Thomas Morton, a real- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 281 

estate dealer of Mitchell, South Dakota; James, a barber of Webb City, Mis- 
souri; and Grace, who is the wife of Ves Parker, a contractor and builder 
of Portland, Oregon. 

T. R. Mclaughlin received his education in the district schools of his 
home neighborhood, in Henry county, Illinois, and later attended the graded 
schools of Woodhull, Henry county. He followed farming during all of 
his active life, beginning this occupation in Henry county, from which he 
moved to Marshall county, Illinois, where he remained for eight years, and 
then went to Finney county, Kansas. On January 20, 1884, Mr. McLaugh- 
lin came to Reno county, settling first in Reno township, later in Grant town- 
ship and finally in Salt Creek township, where he owns three hundred and 
twenty acres of land, part of which is situated in section 26 and part in 
section 2y. Besides this land, he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres 
in Hodgeman county, Kansas, which he sold. He resided in Partridge, 
Reno county, for four years or until August 30, 1915, when he moved to 
Hutchinson, where he owns a beautiful residence at 404 Twelfth avenue. 
East, and other property. 

Mr. McLaughlin was married on December 31, 1889, in Oronogo, 
Missouri, to lantha Hendrickson, who was bom on March 27, 1863, in Fay- 
ette county, low^a, andr is the daughter of Ulysses and Mary J. (Cochran) 
Hendrickson, both natives of Holmes county, Ohio, the former bom on 
April 24, 1832, and the latter on February 28, 1837. Ulysses Hendrickson 
was a farmer by occupation and moved to Jasper county, Missouri, in 1866, 
where he later engaged in lead and zinc mining. In 1874 he was elected 
sheriff of Jasper county, serving in this ofiice for two years, and in 1888 
was elected to the state Senate, where he served for four years. In 1908 
he came to Reno county, settling in Center township, where he lived until 
his death, which occurred while he was on a trip to Jasper county, May 19, 
1912. He was a prominent members of the Masonic fraternity in this 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Hendrickson were the parents of six children, whose 
names, besides Mrs. McLaughlin, are as follow : C. Perry, a retired farmer 
of Hutchinson; John P., a retired farmer of Hutchinson; Minerva, the 
widow of Harvey Davies, a farmer of Reno county, and Cole, a commercial 
traveler of Hutchinson. To Mr. and Mrs. T. R. McLaughlin have been 
born tw^o daughters, Freda and Katherine. Freda, who was born in Reno 
county, August 9, 1893, ^^ ^ graduate of the Partridge high school, attended 
Mt. Carmel Academy at Wichita for one year, and is now attending business 
college at Hutchinson. Katherine, who is generally known as Cassie, was 



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282 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

bom on April 7, 1907, and is now attending the north side grade school at 
Hutchinson. 

Politically, Mr. McLaughlin is a Democrat and has always taken a very 
active interest in politics, having filled several offices in this county. \\Tiile 
a resident of Grant township he served as clerk for two years and had been 
elected to the office of trustee, but did not get to fill this office on account 
of his removal to Salt Creek township. He also served as a member and 
clerk of the school board of Salt Creek township for twelve years, and as a 
member and treasurer of the school board of Partridge for four years. 



THURMAN J. BIXLER. 



Thurman J. Bixler, son of James W. and Josephine E. (Frone) Bixler, 
was bom in Americus, Kansas, March 21, 1888. His father was born on 
October 21, 1858, and is now a retired groceryman, living in Hutchinson, 
Kansas; he is a member of the Baptist church. His mother was bom in 
New York, October 28, 1862, and died in Hutchinson, March 20, 1914. 
She was a member of the Episcopal church. The brothers and sisters of 
Thurman J. Bixler are: Carrie E., who married Albert Harmon, a creamery 
man in Hutchinson; Sarah A., married George Schultz, a grocer in Hutchin- 
son; Earl P., a clerk in the employ of the D. J. Farr Lumber Company, in 
Hutchinson; John A., a grocer in Hutchinson; Nellie O., bookkeeper at San 
Diego, California, in the employ of the Home Telephone Company; Gould 
P., chemist with Swift Company, died on July 21, 1914; Helen G., steno- 
grapher with Guymon-Peters Mercantile Company, in Hutchinson. 

Thurman J. Bixler was educated at the Maple street school, in Hutchin- 
son, passing through the eighth grade. On October 8, 1906, he went into the 
coal business, which he continued for three years. In 1909 he engaged in 
the elevator business, at 91 1-9 13-9 15 South Main street; this, in connection 
with a feed business, he conducted for about two years. In 191 1 he embarked 
in the bottling business, manufacturing a beverage known as "Bixler's Fa- 
mous Soda Water,'' and he is engaged in that line of business, as sole pro- 
prietor and owner at the present time. He manufactures all flavors of soda 
water and fruit drinks. He is also the inventor of the T. J. Bixler Automa- 
tic Bottle Feed, which is a great time and labor-saving machine in a bottling 
plant. 

Mr. Bixler was married, April 3, 1907, in Hutchinson, Kansas, to 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 283 

Orlena Rabner, daughter of Edward L. and Rachel (Horn) Rabner; she 
was born in Hutchinson^ September 4, 1893. Her father was born in Rus- 
sell county, Kansas, February 20, 1868; he is a steam-fitter in Chicago, 
Illinois. Her mother was born in Pennsylvania, March 29, 1868; both are 
members of the Presbyterian church. 

John A. Bixley, besides being a successful business man, is also an 
aviator of some note. He studied aviation with the Benoist Aircraft Com- 
pany, of St. Louis, Missouri, and with the Wright Brothers, of Dayton, 
Ohio, and was graduated at both places. He has made successful flights at 
St. Louis, Dayton and Hutchinson, at exhibitions. He holds international 
license No. 246, received from the Aero Club of America. He was born in 
Americus, Kansas, October 2, 1885 : married Mattie C. Sames, daughter of 
William J. and Isabel Sames, in Hutchinson, February 14, 1906; the daugh- 
ter was bom in Hutchinson, October 10, 1887. They have four children: 
Dorothy Marie, bom on December 17, 1906; John Albert, February 22, 
1908; Dallas D., February 17, 1910: Helen M., May 7, 1912. 

For two years John A. Bixler was in the jx)ultry and egg business with 
his brother. Earl F., and has since been engaged in the grocery business by 
himself, at 909 South Main street, in Hutchinson. William J. Sames died 
in Hutchinson, July 25, 1908; his wife is still living in Hutchinson. 

The Bixlers have taken much interest in navigation. They were the 
only persons in Hutchinson who had a boat during the flood of 1903 and 
1904, available for rescue purposes. They made good use of their boat in 
saving persons and property threatened with the raging flood, and made no 
charge for their services. James W., Earl F. and Gould F. Bixler made a 
trip from Hutchinson. Kansas, to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, on the Arkansas 
river. 



JOHN H. CAMPBELL. 



John H. Campbell, son of James M. and Sarah A. (McDonald) Camp- 
bell, was born in Hampshire county, Virginia, April 5, 1855. His father 
was bom in Fayette county, Virginia (now West Virginia), February 13, 
1829. When a youth the father lived at Harper's Ferry, and began rail- 
roading as a brakeman in 1850 on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad between 
WTieeling and Washington, D. C. He was fireman on the locomotive that 
pulled the first train over the mountains in 1852 ; a few months later he was 
made an engineer. Railroading was very difficult in those days, the moun- 



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284 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

tains were crossed by a system of switchbacks, a slow and tedious manner 
of travel comi>ared to the finely-equipped trains pulled by the massive engines 
of the present day. 

The growing bitterness on account of the agitation of the slavery ques- 
tion between the North and the South was intensified by the John Brown 
affair at Harper's Ferry in 1859. Even at that time there was talk of 
secession and disunion by the radical southern leaders, and those who were 
not in sympathy with this radical sentiment found their environment any- 
thing but pleasant. James M. Campbell was a strong Union man, and, with 
a desire to find a location in a community more in harmony with his senti- 
ments, moved to Illinois in the later fifties. In 1878 he came to Reno county, 
Kansas, and homesteaded eiglity acres of land in Salt Creek township, 
and bought one hundred and sixty acres adjoining, which he farmed until he 
retired, in 1875. He then removed to Hutchinson, where he lived at 426 
Tenth avenue, until his death, on February 2, 19 16. He was a member of 
the United Brethren church and is independent in politics. 

The paternal grandfather of John H. Campbell was , John Campbell, 
who was a pioneer settler in Greenbrier county, Virginia, and built one of 
the first houses erected in that county. He was a farmer and stock raiser. 
He married Elizabeth Kesler, a daughter of Jacob Kesler, whose mother 
was of German descent. The paternal great-grandfather was also a native 
of Virginia. He was captured by the Indians and used as a pack carrier for 
two years before he made his escape from his captors, Sarah A. ( McDon- 
ald) Campbell was bom in Virginia in 1832. She was the daughter of 
John McDonald. John H. Campbell's brothers and sisters are: Joseph W., 
a farmer in Reno county, born in Hampshire county, Virginia, June 5, 1853; 
James C, a farmer in Reno county, born in Lee county, Illinois, in 1859, 
was formerly a building contractor in Hutchinson, Kansas, and Aurora. Illi- 
nois; P. L., born in Lee county, Illinois, in 1861, is a grocery merchant in 
Hutchinson; Jacob L., bom in Lee county, Illinois, died in infancy; Lacey 
Ann, born in Lee county, Illinois, in 1870, died in Reno county, at the age 
of fourteen years. 

John H. Campbell was educated in the district schools of Lee county, 
Illinois, and was kept at w^ork on his father's farm when not in school. In 
1877, soon after attaining his majority, he came to Kansas and homesteaded 
one hundred and sixty acres of land, in section 21, township 25, range 12, 
in Rose valley, Staflford county; it is now a part oi Union township, Staf- 
ford county. He arrived in Hutchinson on an emigrant train June 11, 1877. 
The water through which the train had to pass at that time was up to the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 285 

w^ ^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^"^ ^^^ Streets of Hutchinson were flooded, so that it was 

\ ►^^^sary for him to take a boat to reach the Reno House, where he put up 

- f ^^ the night. Next morning he crossed Cow creek bridge, which was 

t anchored with chains, and found enough grass on the other side to provide 

''IS three horses with their morning feed. Finally, after these and many 

^ther discouraging experiences, he reached his intended location and estab- 

Jished a temporary' home. He began the improvement of his land, and some 

fJrne later added to his cares by the purchase of the southwest quarter of 

section 21, township 25, range 12, in Stafford county. In the first township 

tlection held in the township in which Mr. Campbell located, his house was 

i«ed as the voting place. In lieu of a regulation receptacle for the deposit 

of votes an old copper kettle was used as a ballot box. Several years later 

this Icettle was taken to St. Johns, the county seat of Stafford county, and 

l^ept as an interesting historic relic. 

Air. Campbell engaged in farming quite extensively, adding to the 

improvement and value of his lands from year to year. In 1886 he engaged 

in the grain business in Stafford county and devoted his attention to this 

line of business largely until 1892. In the early part of 1893 he went to 

Kansas City, Missouri, to engage in business with the Jones Dry Goods 

Comi>any, in which he was a stockholder. In this business he had charge 

of the furniture, carpets and draperies department for about ten years. In 

^902 he retired from the firm on account of his health. During the time he 

^^s connected with tliis firm the business increased rapidly from year to 

year, as indicated by the fact that the number of employees- of the house had 

'^crea«:e(l from thirtv-two to one thousand and thirty-six in that ten-vear 

period. 

^or four years Mr. Campbell was in the wholesale carpet business at 

^orth Main street, Hutchinson, as a member of the firm of Fontron, 

'^^rigood & Campbell, who bought the business and were the successors 

^^^^11 & Wall. Then, after traveling for one year, he engaged in the 

, ^^i~V business with his brother, P. L. Campbell, for four years. He was 

r. ^ ^rigaged in the luml^er business for two years, to 19 13, when he retired. 

. *'^^ these years, in which he had been engaged in various business enter- 

^^* he had been uniformly successful and made large investments of his 

^^^xilated profits in lands. His holdings in real estate at the present time 

. " Three hundred and twentv acres in Lane county, one hundred and 

"^ acres in Coffey county, four hundred and eighty acres in Stafford 

^^>^, one thousand six hundred acres in Hamilton county — a total of two 

^^^nd and eighty acres of Kansas lands. In addition to this he is the 



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286 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

owner of valuable real estate in Hutchinson, including his fine residence at 
28 Sixth avenue, West. He was a member of the school board, of Stafford, 
Kansas, and is a member of the First Christian church, of Hutchinson. His 
political affiliation is with the Republican party. 

John H. Canipl)ell was married on December 24, 1882, in Reno county, 
Kansas, to Mary M. Warnock, daughter of Lewn's W. Wamock. Mrs. Camp- 
bell was born in Missouri, February 9, 1862, and died in Hutchinson, Kan- 
sas, May 22, 191 1. Her father was a farmer and died in Reno county, 
Kansas, in 1895. ^^ ^'^^ ^ meml^er of the United Brethren church, and a 
Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell was the parents of the following chil- 
dren: Leona A. married Paul R. Hunter, a printer in Hutchinson; Irving 
M., in the furniture business in Silvia, Reno county; Maud M., married 
Mike T. Bell, a farmer in Coffey county; Jennie M., married Joseph Ray, a 
sheet metal worker and plumber, in Stafford, Kansas; Sarah, "Sadie" A., 
married Joseph Thomas, salesman in the Hutchinson supply store; William 
C, a farmer in Stafford county, Kansas; Andrew, attending school in 
Hutchinson. 

Mr. Campbell is one of the live, progressive citizens of Hutchinson, a 
man of upright character and strict integrity, a capable business man and 
j socially agreeable; he commands the confidence and respect of the com- 

munitv of w^hich he is an honored citizen. 



REV. WILLIAM M. FARRELL. 

Rev. William M. Farrell, son of William F. and Margaret (Cunning- 
ham) Farrell, was born in Kentland, Indiana, May 12, 1876. His father 
was born in Urbana, Ohio, in 1840, and died in Independence, Kansas, in 
1881. He was freight agent of the railroad which passed through Kentland. 
Mrs. Margaret Farrell was born in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1855, ^"^ ^^ "^^^ 
living with her son in Hutchinson. The only daughter, Elizabeth May, was 
lx)rn in Kentland, Indiana, June 12, 1878; she married Harry F. Sinclair, 
engaged in the oil business at Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

William M. Farrell received his education in the parochial schools of 
In(le|)endence, Kansas, which he attended for two years, receiving instruc- 
tion in that institution under the management of the Jesuits during the 
years 1887 and 1888. For six years after leaving that institution, 1889 to 
1895, he was employed as a clerk in M. J. Paul's w^holesale grocery corn- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 287 

pany, of Independence, Kansas. His early ambition was to adopt the cleri- 
cal profession as his life work and his plans were all formed with that ptir- 
pose in view. Having to depend largely upon his own effort to secure 
means to obtain the necessary education to fit him for his chosen profession, 
he engaged in such employment as he could find. In his six-years' service 
with the wholesale grocery company he demonstrated the fact that he was 
possessed of excellent business qualities, and gave promise y of great success 
in business lines, but his ambition was in a different direction. He left his 
business employment and entered the St. Benedict College, at Atchison, Kan- 
sas, and after four years in that institution graduated with a diploma in the 
classical course. He then entered Kenrick Seminary, in St. Louis, Missouri, 
graduating after two years in philosophy. He then went to Rome, Italy, 
and spent four years as a student in the North American College of that 
city, studying theology, at the propaganda school of theology. He graduated 
in theology with two degrees. Bachelor of Arts and Professor of Theology, 
in 1905, and was ordained, December i6, 1905, at the Capranica College, by 
Cardinal Respighi, Vicar General of Rome. After a tour of Europe he 
returned to America and began his clerical work, January 15, 1906, in the 
diocese of the cathedral of Wichita, Kansas, where he remained for two 
years and six months. While there, in addition to his pastoral duties, he 
was the editor and publisher of the Catholic Advance, which was the official 
organ of Wichita, Concordia and Leavenworth, Kansas, and of Oklahoma 
City, Oklahoma. 

Reverend Farrell came to Hutchinson, July, 1908, and continued the 
publication of the Advance for a year at this place. He then became pastor 
of St. Teresa's Catholic church, at 205 Fifth avenue. East, which was at that 
time a small frame building, with a seating capacity of about one hundred 
^d fifty. The energy and earnest devotion which he applied to his work, 
and the faithfulness with which he discharged his pastoral duties, brought 
new life and spirit to his charge and the congregation increased in numbers 
to such an extent that the little frame church was of insufficient capacity to 
accommodate the worshipers. A larger and more commodious building was 
a necessity, and steps were taken to secure it. In this project the pastor, by 
his business experience and good judgment, was well fitted to take the lead. 
A collection to secure the necessary funds was started, September i, 1909, 
and the cornerstone of the new building was laid with due ceremony in 
May, 1910. The building was completed and dedicated May 18, 191 1, an 
occasion of happiness and rejoicing for this congregation, when they could 
look upon the completion of a work for which they had unitedly and gen- 



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288 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

erously contributed. The completed building is an imposing structure of 
brick and stone, of artistic architectural design, with all modern appoint- 
ments and conveniences. The interior finish is modest juid tasteful, in har- 
mony with the general design and character of the building. The auditorium 
has a seating cai>acity of about six hundred. 

There are two missions connected with the parish of St. Teresa's Catho- 
lic church, one aj: Nickerson, the other at Castleton, both in Reno county. 
The latter has alx>ut one hundred communicants. 

In addition to his labors in the pastoral charge of this church and its 
allied missions. Reverend Farrell is assistant chaplain of the state reforma- 
tory at Hutchinson. He is also actively identified with every civic move- 
ment that has for its object the uplift of humanity and the benefit of the 
community of which he is an honored citizen. He is a member of the Hutch- 
inson Commercial Club, and contributes of his influence and energy in the 
promotion of every enterprise that tends to the increase and development 
of Hutchinson, a city in whose continued growth and prosperity he has 
unbounded confidence. His fraternal association is with the Knights of 
Columbus, of which he has long been a prominent member. He is inde- 
pendent in politics, giving his support to the candidate whom he considers 
best fitted for the office to which he aspires, regardless of the political faith 
to which the candidate subscril^es. 



SAMUEL S. GRAYBILL 



One night at a banquet in Topeka, Samuel S. Graybill, present popular 
postmaster at Hutchinson, this county, was introduced as toastmaster of the 
occasion as ''the man who knows more men in Kansas than any other man in 
the state f' and this prandial compliment was w^ell deserved and probably 
within the exact limits of the truth, for there are mighty few persons of 
consequence in Kansas with whom Mr. Graybill is not, at least, on speaking 
terms, and with most of whom he enjoys an intimate acquaintance. This 
unusually wide acquaintance is based upon his many years as a stockman, 
during which time he traveled widely and constantly over the state buying 
cattle, and upon his long connection with state political circles, during which 
time he has missed very few occasions for mingling with his fellows at such 
times as politicians are wont to foregather. His jovial, whole-souled man- 
ner of greeting his fellow men has made Mr. Graybill not only one of the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 289 

best-known men in the state, but one of the most popular, and it is but fitting 
and proper that some extended mention be made of him here in this history 
of the county in which he has so long resided and in the affairs of which 
he takes so deep an interest. 

Samuel S. Graybill was born in Juanita county, Pennsylvania, Novem- 
ber 29, i860, son of Amos and Mary (Shelley) Graybill, both natives of 
that same county, the former of whom, born in 1828, died in 1900, and the 
latter, born in 1835, died in 1912, both having spent their last days in Kansas. 

Amos Graybill was reared on a farm in Juanita county, Pennsylvania, 
his parents devout Mennonites and earnest-minded people, one of whose sons, 
WiUiam, was a bishop in the Mennonite church. In his native county Amos 
Graybill married an earnest Mennonite maiden, Mary Shelley, and settled 
down on a farm nearby his father's home, where to him. and his wife ten 
children were bom. In 1874, attracted by the many flattering reports 
emanating at that time from Kansas, Mr. Graybill sold his place in Pennsyl- 
vania and with his family emigrated to this state. He bought the relinquish- 
ment of a homestead right in Harvey county and there made his new home, 
farming the place quite successfully until 1884, in which year he and his 
wife retired from the farm and moved to the town of Newton, where they 
spent the rest of their lives in pleasant comfort. The sons of the family 
were not particularly attracted to life on the farm and all engaged in busi- 
ness in Newton. 

Samuel S. Graybill received his early education in the public schools of 
his home neighborhood in Pennsylvania and at the academy at Port Royal, 
that state, and was preparing to enter the Pennsylvania State Normal when 
his plans were interrupted by the removal of the family to this state in 1874. 
The year following his arrival in Kansas, 1875, memorable as "grasshopper 
year," he worked on the railroad section, afterward assisting in the develop- 
ment of the homestead place until 1879, in which year he went to Newton 
and for a year clerked in a grocery store. He then transferred his services 
to a Newton druggist and for thirteen years was engaged as a drug clerk, 
acquiring in that time a thorough acquaintance with the drug trade. In 
June, 1893, ^^- Graybill left Newton and came to this county, locating at 
Hutchinson, where he has ever since made his home. For the first year 
after arriving in Hutchinson, Mr. Graybill clerked in the drug store of 
Charles Winslow, after which he engaged in business for himself, opening a 
drug store at the comer of Main and Sherman streets, which he conducted 
with much success until 1897, in which year a severe attack of pleurisy left 
(19a) 



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290 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

his health so unsettled that he decided to get out of the store and into the 
open and to this end went into the live-stock business, buying and Celling 
cattle, in which business his son presently became associated with him and 
they bought cattle from all parts of southwestern Kansas, shipping the same 
to Kansas City and Wichita, building up an extensive business in that line. 
In the spring of 191 3 Mr. Graybill was appointed by Governor Hodges as a 
member of the Kansas state live stock commission and served in that capac- 
ity untH the time of his resignation, in September, 1914, to accept the 
appointment as postmaster of Hutchinson, in which important public capac- 
ity he is now serving. 

For years Mr. Graybill has been active in the ranks of the workers 

I in the Democratic party, not only throughout this section, but in the state at 

large, and is one of the best-know^n politicians in the state. He has attended 

I every state convention of his party since the year 1890 and is consequently 

. one of the most familiar figures present at those biennial functions. For nlne- 

> teen consecutive years he was precinct committeeman in his home precinct 

and was secretary of the Reno county Democratic central committee for six 

* years; a member of the Democratic state committee for eight years and 

attached to the executive committee of the same for six years. He was a 

delegate to the Democratic national convention at Denver in 1908. He 

has attended every Democratic congressional convention ever held in the 

seventh Kansas district and for six years was chairman of the congressional 

district committee of his party. When the commission form of government 

was adopted in the city of Hutchinson, Mr. Graybill was made commissioner 

of health and public buildings and it was during his incumbency in that 

office, and under his direction, that the great convention hall in that city 

was erected. 

On April 7, 1886, Samuel S. Graybill was united in marriage to Minnie 
Kirlin, who was born in Anderson, Indiana, daughter of Cyrus Kirlin and 
wife, who moved from their Indiana home to Newton, Kansas, when their 
daughter, ^linnie, was five years of age, the former spending the last ten 
years of his life in Mr. Graybill's home in Hutchinson, where he died at the 
age of ninety years and four months. To Mr. and Mrs. Graybill two chil- 
dren have been born. Preston B., born in 1890, who, after a course in the 
Kansas StateAgricultural College, married Bertha Templin, in November, 
1914, and is now engaged in the dairy business on one of his father's farms 
near Hutchinson, and Marguerite, born in 1892, who, after being graduated 
from the Hutchinson high school, took a course in the University of Kansas. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 29 1 

The Graybills have a very pleasant home at 334 Sherman street, east, built 
in 1907. 

ilr. Graybill is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the con- 
sistory of the Scottish Rite at Wichita. He has been thrice past eminent 
counsellor and has been honored in having held every chair in every degree 
of his home lodge, a distinction held perhaps by but one other Mason in 
Hutchinson. 



MORRISON H. BROWN. 

I Morrison H, Brown, son of Dr. Felix G- and Elizabeth A. (Wake- 

field) Brown, was born in Washington county, Kentucky, July 24, 1871. 

' His father was born in Indiana, January 6, 1843, and was reared and edu- 

cated in Taylorsville, Kentucky, by his maternal uncle, John Wakefield. He 
attended medical lectures in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated there in 
1868. He began his practice as a physician in Washington county^ Ken- 
tucky, remaining there until 1885, when he removed to Hutchinson, where 
he continued to practice his profession until his death, which occurred on 
April 29, 1 90 1. Before he went to St. Louis to attend medical college, Felix 
G. Brown was engaged for some time in teaching school in Kentucky. He 
was a member of the Knights of Pythias, and of the Modern Woodmen of 
America; also a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club. His church 
relationship was with the Southern Methodist church; his political affiliation 
was with the Democratic party. In the early part of the Civil War, Doctor 
Brown enlisted as a soldier in the Union army and served ninety days. 

Elizabeth A. (Wakefield) Brow^n was born in Washington county, 
Kentucky. October 8, 185 1, and is still living in Hutchinson. She was the 
daughter of John H. and Roxy (Weathers) Wakefield. Her father was 
bom in Nelson county. Kentucky, about 1829. and died in Washington 
county, Kentucky, in 1891. He was a farmer, a Methodist and a Democrat. 
Her mother was born in the same county of which her father was a native, 
November. 1837, and died in Washington county, Kentucky, March, 1904. 
Her only other son, William Ernest, was bom in Washington county, Ken- 
tucky, October 21, 1876. He is a traveling salesman for the Wheeler & 
Motter Mercantile Company, of St. Joseph, Missouri, and has offices in 
Muskogee, Oklahoma. 

Morrison H. Brown was educated in the grade and high schools of 
Hutchinson, and then took a position as salesman in stores in Hutchinson. 



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292 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

He was employed for some time in the store of P. Martin Dry Goods Com- 
pany, and afterward was with the Rosabaugh-Wiley Dry Goods Company. 
In 1909 he accepted a position with the Ely & Walker Dry Goods Company, 
of St. Louis, Missouri, as traveling salesman, in which capacity he is still 
employed, with offices in the Rosabaugh-Wiley building, Hutchinson, Kan- 
sas. Mr. Brown is a member of the Elks, and of the Hutchinson Commer- 
cial Club. His political affiliation is with the Democratic party. He has 
resided at 551 Avenue, East, for many years, and is building a new home 
there at the present time. 

Mr. Brown was married at Great Bend, Kansas, May 23, 1900, to 
Julia H. Wesley, daughter of Paul V. and Susannah (Godby) Wesley. Mrs. 
Brown was bom in Paints ville, Kentucky, March 16, 1878. Her father was 
born in Pulaski county, Kentucky, March 31, 1849, ^^d died at Great Bend, 
Kansas, where he was pastor of the First Methodist church, in September, 
1884. Her mother was born in Casey county, Kentucky, March 28, 1846, 
and is still living in Great Bend, Kansas. 

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Brown. They are Eula 
Elizabeth, born, in Hutchinson, February 7, 1902, and Wesley Ernest, bom 
in Hutchinson, June 22, 1907. 



PARKE SMITH. 



Parke Smith, son of Albert G. and Anna (Parke) Smith, was born in 
Putnam county, Indiana, July 25, 1875. His father was bom in Ohio, May 
9, 1847, and was a principal of the high school in Greencastle, Indiana, for 
several years. In 1878 he moved to Medicine Lodge, Barber county, Kan- 
sas, where he engaged in the business of farming and stock raising. In 
1884 he removed to. Arizona, where he continued in the same line of busi- 
ness. He died in Pratt county, Kansas, January 25, 1886. He was a mas- 
ter Mason, and an active member of the Methodist church, being county 
superintendent of Putman county Sunday schools. Politically, he was an 
advocate of the principles of the Republican party and gave his support to 
candidates of that party, being elected superintendent of Putman county 
schools. 

Anna (Parke) vSmith was born in Putnam county, Indiana, June 15, 
1855. She was the daughter of James and Mary J. Parke. Her father 
owned two hundred and eighty acres of land in Putnam county, Indiana, and 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 2Q3 

was by occupation a farmer. He died about 1882. Her mother was bom 
about 1829, and is still living in Hutchinson. She is one of the oldest mem- 
l)ers of the Methodist church, in which she has long been a faithful wor- 
shiper. 

The brothers and sisters of Parke Smith are : Goldwin, born in Putnam 
county, Indiana, Octotjer 26, 1878, died on July 25, 1896, from the effects 
of becoming overheated in riding a bicycle; Mary Alvesta, bom in Medicine 
Lodge, Kansas, September 6, 1880, died on October 12, 1881 ; Roy, bom in 
Medicine Lodge, Kansas, October 14, 1882, is in business with the subject 
of this sketch, in the **Brunswick Smoker,'* 211 North Main street, Hutch- 
inson; Junita, horn in Tombstone, Arizona, November 23, 1884, married 
J George Lynch, who is engaged in the general mercantile business in Gales- 

burg, Illinois. 

Parke Smith- was educated in the public schools of Hutchinson and 
attended the high school for two years. He then held a position in the store 
of J. H. F. Plate, grocer and baker, for three years; afterward in the 
grocery business with Kanage & Smith Brothers, for two years. In 1898 
and 1899 he was in Arizona, as secretary of the Erie Cattle Company. 
Returning to Kansas, he was engaged in the restaurant business for nearly 
two years in St. Johns, Kansas, and afterward in the same line of business 
in Hutchinson for four years. In 1907 he engaged in the tobacco and cigar 
business, opening a store at 211 North Main street, known as the **Bruns- 
wick Smoker," which he has continued to the present time. Before coming 
to Hutchinson, Mr. Smith moved with his father from Putnam county, 
Indiana, to Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1878, and to Tombstone, Arizona, 
in 1884. He is a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club, and also a 
member of the Elks lodge in Hutchinson. Politically, he affiliates with the 
Republican party, and, withal, he is a very pleasant and capable business 
man, with a willingness at all times to aid and encourage every enterprise 
that tends to the development of the industrial interests of the community 
of which he is a citizen. 

Parke Smith was married on November 6, 1899, to Anna L. Wimple- 
])erg, daughter of W'iUiam and Sarah Wimpleberg. Mrs. Smith was born 
in Indiana, March 25, 1875. Her father was a retail flour merchant; both 
he and his wife died in Hutchinson in 1913. He was a Republican, a veteran 
of the Civil War, and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Albert, 
born in St. John, Kansas, September 12, 1900, is the only child of Mr. and 
Mrs. Smith. 



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294 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

E. B. SCHMITT. 

E. B. Sclimitt, a well-known resident of Pretty Prairie, this county, 
who has been actively connected with the work of the Rock Milling and 
Elevator Company of that place since 1909, is a native son of the Sunflower 
state, having been lx)rn at Halstead. Kansas, September 4, 1880, son of D. 
W. and Anna (Graber) Sclimitt, the former a native of Germany and the 
latter of Poland, who later came to Reno county and located at Pretty Prairie, 
where both spent the remainder of their lives. 

D. W. Schmitt, who was born on June 6, 1852, was but two years old 
w^hen his parents, Johannas Schmitt and wife, came to the United States 
from Germany in 1854 and located near Summerfield, Illinois, where they 
spent the rest of their lives, active members of the Mennonite community in 
that section of the state. When a young man D. \V. Schmitt, who had 
become an excellent carpenter, came to Kansas and located at Halstead. 
There he met and married Anna Grat:)er, who was bom on September 30, 
1 861, daughter of John C. and Fannie (Stuckey) Gral^er, and who was about 
ten years old when her parents came to the United States from Russian 
Poland in 1871, settling at Halstead, this state, where they lived for about 
four years, at the end of which time they moved north of Mound Ridge, 
whence, in 1888, they came to Reno county, where John C. Gral>er died in 
Febniary, 1907, and where his widow is still living, being now nearly eignty 
years of age. j 

In the fall of 1889 D. W. Schmitt and family came to Reno county and 
located at Pretty Prairie, where Mr. Schmitt engaged in contract and car- 
pentering and made wise investments in land, being the owner of two hun- 
dred and forty acres of land in that vicinity at the time of his death on June 
10, 1905. He and his wife were active and prominent in the w^ork of the 
New Jerusalem church and their children were reared in that faith. There 
were ten of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest, 
the others being Ida, Gussie, John. Harr\', Reuben, Daniel, Albert, Susan 
and Stella. 

E. B. Schmitt was about nine years old when his parents came to Reno 
county and settled at Pretty Prairie and he completed his schooling in that 
village. On Octol^er 29, 1905, he was united in marriage to Mary Laun- 
hardt, who was born in Germany, April 21, 1884, daughter of Philip and 
Mary Launhardt, who came to this country and settled about 1895 '" 
Hodgeman county, this state, where Philip Launhardt was killed by lightning 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 295 

the next year. To Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt three children have been born, 
irvin, bom on November 26, 1906; Elwia, October 20, 1909, and Harold, 
Janviary 20, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt are active members of the New 
Jerusalem church and take a proper interest in the general affairs of their 
home community. Since December, 1909, Mr. Schmitt has been prominently 
identified with the Rock Milling and Elevator Company's industry at Pretty 
Prairie, being now manager of the same, owns property in that town and is 
regarded as a substantial and useful citizen. Mrs. Schmitt is a trained nurse 
and a graduate of the Welch hospital at Hutchinson. 



JAMES E. FERGUSON. 

James E. Ferguson, the son of William and Nancy J. (Mills) Fergu- 
son, was born near Bedford, Lawrence county, Indiana, on July 13, 1873. 
William Ferguson was born in Lawrence county, Indiana, in February, 
1849. After completing his education in the common schools, Mr. Ferguson 
devoted his life to farming, first in Lawrence county, Indiana, then for 
twelve years in Texas, after which he removed to Kansas, near Sedan, 
where he died in 1901. Nancy (Mills) Ferguson was bom in Lawrence 
county, October 13, 1854, and died at her home in Chautauqua county, 
Kansas, on October 13, 1900. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson were members 
of the Christian church. 

James E. Ferguson has four brothers, as follow: Dillon, a farmer in 
Chautauqua county, Kansas; George M., a former farmer and stock man. 
is now in Earned, Kansas, where he is the representative of Ferguson-Shi r- 
clifF Grain Company; Lee A., a stock raiser and farmer in Chautauqua 
county, Kansas, and Lawrence, engaged in the elevator and milling business 
at Independence, Kansas. 

James E. Ferguson received his education in the common schools of 
Montague county, Texas, and in Chautauqua county, Kansas. After com- 
pleting his education he was engaged for five years in the buying and selling 
of stock in his home cotmty in Kansas. He then removed to Blackwell, 
Oklahoma, where he was engaged in the grain business, from 1897 to IQ05, 
after which he continued the business at Winfield, Kansas, until 1908, when 
he located at Hutchinson, where he now has offices at 508 and 509, First 
National Bank building. The firm name is Ferguson-Shircliff Grain Com- 
pany. 

On October 28, 1903, James E. Ferguson was united in marriage, at 



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296 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Sedan, to Mary Eudora Shircliff, who was born on June 3, 1875, at Hay- 
densville, Ohio. Mrs. Ferguson is the daughter of Bernard C. and Sarah 
(Turner) Shircliff, both of whom are natives of Ohio. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have a beautiful house at 903 North Main 
street, where they live with their only child, Azel Eudora, who was born in 
Winfield, November 2, 1907. The family belong to the Methodist Epis- 
copal church and are active in all church work. 



CAPT. WILLIAM R. BENNETT. 

Capt. William R. Bennett, head of the Bennett Mineral and Distilled 
Water Company, of Hutchinson, this county, of the plant and product of 
which he and his son are the owners, is a native of the Empire state, having 
been born in the town of Wurtsboro, Sullivan county. New York, on Octo- 
ber 5, 1837, son of Captain Eli and Elizabeth (Cranse) Bennett, the former 
of whom, born in Connecticut in 1801, died in January, 1878, and the latter 
of whom, also a native of Cojiinecticut, born in 181 1, lived to the great age 
of ninety-three years and nine months. 

Capt. Eli Bennett was the son of Amos Bennett and wife, who came 
to this country from England and established a new home in Connecticut, 
becoming influential farming people in the neighborhood in which they set- 
tled. Amos Bennett participated in the struggle of the Americans against 
England in the War of 18 12, a member of a Connecticut regiment, and was 
in all ways a good citizen of his adopted country. He and his wife reared 
a family of eleven children. Their son, Eli, grew to manhood on the Con- 
necticut home farm and early began teaching school, in which profession 
he was engaged for some years, during which period he moved to Wurts- 
boro, Sullivan county, New York, where for some time he was engaged as a 
teacher and where he established his permanent home, becoming one of the 
most prominent residents of that section of the state. Shortly after locating 
there he took a contract for the construction of a portion of the Delaware 
division of the Erie railroad and upon the completion of that contract 
embarked in the mercantile business at Wurtsboro and was thus occupied 
during the remainder of his active life. He was captain of the local com- 
pany of the New York state guards and during the period of his activity 
in that connection became one of the best-known officers of the New York 
state militia. He was a Whig in his political belief until the formation of 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



297 



the Republican party, when he identified himself for life with the latter 
party and ever after ardently supported its men and its measures. Capt. 
Eli Bennett was called upon to serve the public in various official capacities, 
having served in nearly every local office, though always stoutly declining to 
accept any office that would require his removal from his established home 
in Wurtsboro. He and his wife were the parents of four sons and two 
daughters, whom they reared in the faith of the Presbyterian church, of 
which they were active and earnest members. Of these six children, the 
subject of this sketch was the only one to make his home in Kansas. 

William R. Bennett received his early education in the local schools of 
his native home and assisted his father in the latter's store until twenty-one 
years of age, at which time he embarked in business for himself, first engag- 
ing in the flour-milling business, which he continued for a year, at the end 
of which time he went to New York City, where, at 631 Hudson street, 
he opened a grocery store which he conducted until the breaking out 
of the Civil War. In April, 1862, he enlisted in behalf of the cause 
of the Union and for some months served in the engineering corps of the 
Army of tht Potomac, engaged in the construction of bridges, after which 
he returned tp his home county, where he and Ira Dorrance recruited Com- 
pany E, One Hundred and Forty-third Regiment, New York Volunteer 
Infantry, Ira Dorrance, captain, and William R. Bennett, first lieutenant, 
the enlistment dating from October, 1862. In March, 1863, Lieutenant 
Bennett was promoted to the position of captain of Company C and in that 
rank served until the close of the war, his company having the honor of being 
color company of his regiment. Captain Bennett saw much active service 
in the army and was a participant in some of the most important engage- 
ments of the great war. His regiment was at first attached to the Army of 
the Potomac, but in 1863 was joined to 'Sherman's army, with which it 
served until the close of the war and with which it proudly marched in the 
Grand Review at Washington, D. C. Captain Bennett's regiment fought at 
White House Landing in 1863 and was then marched double quick to 
Gettysburg, arriving there at the close of the great battle. In the winter of 
1863-64, the division with which Captain Bennett's regiment was doing 
service opened up the "cracker" road from Bridgeport, Alabama, to Chatta- 
nooga and helped raise the siege there. Continuing in the Tennessee cam- 
paign, he then fought at Lookout Mountain and at Knoxville and all the 
other battles down to Atlanta and thence to the sea. The regiment rested at 
Savannah until the spring of 1865, when it was started north through the 
Carolinas; meeting General Johnston at Averasboro and taking part in the 



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298 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



heavy fighting at Bentonville, this being the last important engagement pre- 
ceding Lee's surrender. Following the Grand Review, the regiment pro- 
ceeded to New York City, where it was mustered out on July 20, 1865. 

At the close of the war, Captain Bennett returned to Wurtsboro and 
was there engaged in carpentering for about a year, at the end of which 
time he went to Towanda, Pennsylvania, w^here he opened a bottHng works 
and engaged iii the manufacture of soda waters. Four years later he sold 
that plant and moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he opened a new 
establishment of the same character and was there thus engaged in business 
for sixteen years. In 1887 he sold out and came to Kansas, locating in 
Hutchinson, where the next year he resumed the manufacture of soda 
waters and the like and has been thus engaged ever since, having been very 
successful, the products of his establishment having a wide sale throughout 
the Southwest. The plant which Captain Bennett erected in 1888, in A avenue, 
west, was greatly enlarged in 1908 and is now regarded as one of the most 
complete and thoroughly equipped plants of its kind in the state. His grow- 
ing business caused Captain Bennett to erect, in 1906, a branch plant at 
McPherson, this state, which is also widely patronized. 

On October 5, 1865,'Capt. William R. Bennett was united in marriage 
to Mary Elizabeth Brown, who was born at Monticello, Sullivan county, 
New York, daughter of James and Mary Brown, and to this union five chil- 
dren have been born, namely: Adelaide, born in 1866, widow of Crawford 
R. Thotert, son of Bishop Thobert, of Meadville, Pennsylvania; Charles G., 
May 7, 1870, associated with his father in business, who married, in Illinois, 
Frances L. North, daughter of Jacob L. and Amanda (Lemon) North, resi- 
dents of Chase county, this state; Elizabeth, 1872, at home; Helen Jane, 
who married Scott E. Lieber, .of Chicago, and Josephine, who married 
Charles Squires, a well-known scenic artist of Washington, D. C. Captain 
and Mrs. Bennett have a very pleasant home at 915 North Main street, 
Hutchinson, bought in 1903. They are attendants at the Presbyterian 
church and for years have taken an active interest in good works, herealx)ut. 

Captain Bennett is a Republican and is warmly interested in local gov- 
ernmental affairs, for some years having been a member of the city council. 
He is a member of Byron Lodge No. 197, Knights of Pythias, and is a 
charter mem]>er of LaRue Division No. 4, Uniformed Rank, of that order, 
of which he was the first captain, and for four years served as colonel of 
the regiment to which No. 4 is attached. The Captain is a devoted member 
of the Grand Army of the Republic and during his residence in Meadville 
was for three years commander of the Meadville post of that patriotic 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 299 

society. He is a member of Joe Hooker Post No. 4, at Hutchinson, in the 
affairs of which he for years has taken an earnest interest and which he has 
served in the capacity of adjutant. Captain Bennett is also a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
KIks and of the Woodmen of the World. 



ROSS E. HALL. 



Ross E. Hall, son of Ambrose S. and Mary L. A. (Poston) Hall, was 
bom in Sedgwick county, Kansas, January 5, 1890. His father was born 
in Missouri, in October, 1854, and came to Kansas in 1871 or 1872, where he 
has since been engaged in farming and stock raising. He is a thirty-second 
degree Mason, a steward in the Methodist Episcopal church, and his poHtical 
affiiliations are with the Democratic party. He resides in Castleton, Reno 
county, Kansas. Mar\' L. A. (Poston) Hall was bom in Indiana, May 12, 
1859, and is still living. The other members of the family are: Reese A., 
born in Sedgwick county, Kansas, May 20. 1895, was a student in the uni- 
versity of Kansas; Homer G., tom in Spivey, Kingman county, Kansas, 
January 13, 1899, now a student at Lawrence, Kansas. 

Ross E. Hall attended Lewis academy, at Wichita, Kansas (kinder- 
garten) for six months; Center Pole township, Kingman county, school for 
four and one-half months; Spivey, Kansas, town school one and one-half 
terms; Mount Hope, Kansas, city school one-half term; Castleton, Kansas, 
city school one and one-half term; Hutchinson, Kansas, city school four 
tenns, where he graduated at the age of seventeen years. He then attended 
the University of Kansas and graduated in the civil engineering course at the 
age of twenty-one years, with the d^ree of Bachelor of Science. He then 
took a post-graduate course in economics and sociology for one year; then a 
post-graduate course in economics and banking at Harvard University for 
half a year. He graduated from the University of Kansas in the spring of 
1914 with the degree of Master of Arts; afterward completed a course in 
the Lawrence Business College, receiving the degree of Master of Accounts, 
being one of only three who ever received that degree. Received diplomas 
from Hutchinson high school and from the University of Kansas in Bachelor 
of Science and Master of Arts degrees. 

Since May, 1914, Mr Hall has been engaged in the lumber and building 
material business. He is president of The R. E. Hall Lumber Company, 



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3CX) 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



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incorporated, located at Hutchinson, 730 First avenue, East, a concern well 
established and doing a profitable business. He is a member of the American 
Economics Association, the National Masonic Research Society, and the 
Rotary Club, of Hutchinson. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, a Meth- 
odist and a Democrat. 

On May 12, 18 15, Ross E. Hall was married to Chlora V. White, the 
daughter of Lehman J. and Alice White. Mrs. Hall was bom in Liberal, 
Kansas, April 20, 1892. Her father is a thirty-second degree Mason, a 
former mayor of Eucklin, Kansas — elected without opposition, is a Repub- 
lican in politics, and a member of the Christian church. Mrs. Hall is also a 
member of that church. 



11 






JAMES R. LOVELACE. 



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James R. Lovelace, son of James C. and Frances (Cole) Lovelace, was 
born in Allen county, near Scots ville, Kentucky, July 20, 1845. ^^s father 
was a native of North Carolina, born in that state in 1818, a son of Samuel 
Lovelace, who moved to Allen county, Kentucky, about 1832. In 1833 the 
elder Lovelace bought more than two hundred acres of land at three dollars 
per acre in Allen county, and enaged in farming. His wife was Sarah Cross; 
she died in the Allen county home in 1863 or 1864. 

James C. Lovelace was a farmer. He bought two hundred and sixty 
acres of land in Allen county, Kentucky, about 1852, where he established a 
home and continued to live until his death, which occurred in 1907. He was 
also a cabinet-maker and follow^ed that trade to some extent in connection 
with his farming business. His church relation was with the Baptist 
denomination, and his political affiliation was with the Democratic party. 
Frances (Cole) Lovelace was born in North Carolina in 1820, and died in 
1901. 

James R. Lovelace had eight brothers and sisters. Elizabeth, bom in 
Allen county, Kentucky, in 1838, died in the county of her birth in 1864. 
She married Martin V. Wilson, a farmer and a lay preacher in the Meth- 
odist church, who died at his home in Allen county, Kentucky, in 1907. 
Benjamin, born in Allen county, Kentucky, in 1840, died at his home in that 
county in 1862. William B., born in Allen county, Kentucky, in 1842, died 
in 1866. Samuel H., born in Allen county, Kentucky, in 1843, ^s a prom- 
inent Methodist minister and is pastor of a Methodist church in Louisville. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 3OI 

He began his ministry in 1865. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and his 
political affiliations are with the Democratic party. Joseph, born in Allen 
county, Kentucky, in 1847, died at his home in that comity in 1867 or 
1868. He was a farmer, a Methodist and a Democrat. Sidney J., bom in 
Allen county, Kentucky, in 1849, died at his home in that county in 1910. 
He was a teacher, and afterward county judge, and clerk of the county 
court for many years, having been elected to office by the Democratic party, 
with which he affiliated. He was prominent in the Masonic order, and also 
a leading member of the Methodist church. John W., born in Allen county, 
Kentucky, in 1857, is a farmer and merchant and is now living in Nash- 
ville, Tennessee- He affiliates with the Democratic party in politics and is a 
member of the Methodist church. Mary A., bom in Allen county, Ken- 
tucky, in 1859, niarried Phineas Oliver, a farmer and a Methodist. They 
are both living in Sumner county, Kansas. 

James R. Lovelace was educated in the schools of Allen and Warren 
counties, Kentucky, and spent his early years working on his father's farm. 
On December 10, 1861, at Columbia, Kentucky, he enlisted in Company 
F, Ninth Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Col. B. F. Grider and 
Lieut.-Col. C. D. Bailey commanding. This regiment was a part of Gen- 
eral Crittenden's corps of Gen. D. C. Buell's army operating in Kentucky 
and Tennessee in 1862; afterward the army was commanded by Rose- 
crans. Mr. Lovelace participated with his regiment in all the campaigns 
and battles in which it engaged, including Shiloh, Stone's River, Chicka- 
mauga and the several battles of the Atlanta campaign under Sherman. 
He was severely wounded in the battle of Chickamauga. He was mus- 
tered out as a corporal on January 8, 1865, at Huntsville, Alabama. After 
his return from the army he was deputy sheriff of Allen county for several 
y^rs, and afterward engaged in farming. In 1874 he moved to Indiana, 
where he farmed until 1881, when he removed to Severance, Kansas. There 
he engaged in the farming implement business for two years, and in the pro- 
vince business for three years. In October, 1886, he came to Hutchinson and 
for twelve years was engaged in the fruit business, on North Main street, 
the present site of the Kress building. Since 1898 he has been salesman 
for the Hutchinson Produce Company. 

Mr. Lovelace has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows for more than thirty years. He is a member of the Hutchinson Com- 
mercial Club, a charter member of the Young Men's Christian Association, 
a prominent member of the Baptist church and a stanch Republican in 
politics. 



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302 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



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On November 12, 1879, James R. Lovelace was married to Lanie Shaw, 
of Laporte, Indiana, daughter of Daniel and Julia (Reynolds) Shaw, bom 
in Kingsbury, Indiana, April 10, 1848, and a descendant of tlfc "Mayflower" 
pilgrims. She taught in the Laporte, Indiana, schools for about ten years 
before her marriage. She has been a member of the Woman's Relief Corps, 
an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, for more than thirty years; 
she is a member of the Woman's Club, of Hutchinson, and is a member of 
ihe Church of God, Adventist. 

The father of Mrs. Lovelace was born in Washington county, New 
York, August 14, 1814. One of his early recollections was seeing Fulton's 
first steamboat on the Hudson river. Mr. Shaw was a carpenter and builder 
by trade, and he also engaged in teaching school. Atx)ut 1832 he removed 
to Kingsbury, Indiana, where he served for awhile as postmaster. After- 
ward he bought one hundred ajid sixty acres of government land, at one dol- 
lar and twenty-five cents per acre, in Laix)rte county, and engaged in farm- 
ing. He was a member of the Church of God, Adventist, and affiliated with 
the Democratic party. Mrs. Ia)velace's mother was born in Erie county. 
New York, August 2, 1823, and was the daughter of Abram and Mary 
(Willington) Reynolds. Abram Reynolds was a veteran of the War of 
1812. 

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. I^velace are: Thomas J. Shaw, born 
in Kingsbury, Indiana, July 20, 1841. He was a prominent Chicago physi- 
cian, and his son, Don Lee Shaw, was a noted surgeon. Both died in 1910. 
Martha J. Shaw was bom in Kingsbury, Indiana, January 28, 1843, married 
Hiram Wineholt, a farmer; both living in Laporte county, Indiana. Flora 
M. Shaw, born in Kingsbury, Indiana, October 27, 1856, married D. P. 
Grover, assessor of Laporte county. Frank B. Shaw, bom in Kingsbury, 
Indiana, November, 1858, is a steel worker; with South Chicago steel mills 
for thirty-three years. Jennie L. Shaw, l)orn in Kingsbury, Indiana, Novem- 
ber 10, i860, married Robert White, farmer and railroad man. Allen G. 
Shaw, born in Kingsbury, Indiana, in 1863. He is a pharmacist, and is now 
i.ilcsir.an for the Colgate Company, of Chicago. Dan Shaw, torn in Kings- 
bury, June 20, 1866, painter and decorator in Kingsbury, Indiana. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lovelace have one son, James Sydney, who was lx)m in 
Kingi-'bury, Indiana, June 12, 1881. He was educated in the city schools 
of Hutchinson, and graduated from the high school. He afterward entered 
the First National Bank, of Hutchinson, as a clerk, and is now one of the 
two tellers of the bank. He is a meml)er of the Hutchinson Commercial 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



303 



Club, Hutchinson Country Club, Young Men's Christian Association (a 
charter member), financial secretary of the Baptist church, and a member of 
the Church of God. He is a progressive Republican in politics. As a tennis 
player he has the honor of being the champion in Hutchinson. 



WILLIAM ALLEN BROWN 

WiUiam Allen Brown, a worthy citizen arid retired agriculturist of 
Hutchinson, Reno county, Kansas, was born on November 15, 1848, in 
Shippenburg, Pennsylvania, and is the son of Allen and Mar}^ (Cumerer) 
Brown. Allen Brown was lx)rn in Lititz, I^ncaster county, Pennsylvania, 
and the birth of his wife occurred in the Cumberland valley, of the same 
state. Mary (Cumerer) Brown was the daughter of George Cumerer, a 
carpenter and native of Pennsylvania. She died in 1890, at the age of 
seventy-four years and her husband died three years later at the age of 
eighty-four. Allen Brown was the son of Frederick Brow^n, who was of 
Holland descent but whose birth occurred in Pennsylvania where he later 
engaged in the brewery business. His son, Allen Brown, spent his entire 
life in his native state as a farmer near Cumberland. He was an active 
member of the Lutheran church and was considered one of its strongest com- 
municants in the county. Politically, he w^1s a Democrat and active in the 
cause of temperance. He was the father of three children whose names 
follow: Israel, now living in Shippenburg, Pennsylvania; George W., who 
resides in Hutchinson, Kansas, and William Allen, also of Hutchinson, 
Kansas. 

William Allen Brown was reared and educated in his native state and 
removed to Illinois in 1875, going from there to Kansas in 1876. He 
located in Reno county on February 15 of that year and has since been a 
resident of this locality. The first one hundred and sixty acre purchase of 
school land which he acquired was sold in 1901, and he then removed from 
Arlington township to Grant township the following year. He again 
invested in one hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he now resides. 

On Februai-y 22, 1886, William Allen Brown was united in marriage 
to Katherine E. Rayl daughter of Thomas and Julia xA.nn Rayl, who located 
in Kansas in 1871. Katherine E. Rayl was torn in Kokomo, Indiana, and 
died in Kansas on September 15, 1909. Her husband then retired to Hutch- 



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304 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

inson, Kansas, where he took up his residence with his brother, George W. 
Brown, who married Jennie Harris, and is the father of one child, Frank 
A. Brown, who operates the property of his uncle, William Allen Brown. 



ALFRED L. SPONSLER. 

In the Sponsler family there is a tradition that the American progenitor 
of that now widely scattered family, of which Alfred L. Sponsler, of Hutch- 
inson, this county, secretary of the Kansas State Fair, is a distinguished 
member, was a captain in the French army, who came to America during 
the French and Indian wars, and after the war settled in Philadelphia, which 
thus became the point of origin of the family in .this country. Alfred L. 
Sponsier's paternal grandfather, Lewis Sponsler, was a resident of Perry 
county, Pennsylvania, where he died at middle age. His son, Lewis Spon- 
sler, father of Alfred L. Sponsler, was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, 
on October 3, 1825, and in his youth learned the trade of wagon-making, at 
which occupation he worked for many years. In 1849, in Cumberland 
county, Pennsylvania, he married Maria Wolfe, who was bom in Lancas- 
ter county, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1827, a daughter of Christian and 
Sarah (Stoner) Wolfe, both of German descent. Christian Wolfe was a 
son of Henry Wolfe, who was a soldier in the patriot army during the 
Revolutionary War. 

In 1856 Lewis Sponsler emigrated with his family from Pennsylvania 
to Keithsburg, Mercer county, Illinois, where he worked as a carpenter for 
four years, at the end of which time he bought a farm seven miles east of 
that city, which he improved and there made his home until 1881, when he 
retired from active farm life and moved to Aledo, in the same county, and 
there he and his wife spent their last days, his death occurring on April 4, 
1893, his widow surviving until August 7, 19 13. Lewis Sponsler and wife 
were members of the Presbyterian church, in the various beneficences of 
which they for years were leaders in their community. Their children were 
as follow : William J., who married Mary Hodgson, came to Reno county, 
Kansas, in 1874, and became one of the leading farmers of Reno township, 
where he lived until 1915, in which year he retired from the farm and moved 
to Hutchinson, where he is now living; vSarah, the wife of W. D. Reynolds, 
a stock raiser of Villisca, Iowa; George W., a farmer and stock raiser, of 
Mercer county, Illinois; Alice M., unmarried, who lives at Aledo, Illinois; 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 3O5 

Alfred L., the immediate subject of this review; Anna, who is the wife of 
Laon McWhorter, one of the* most noted breeders of Angus cattle in the 
United States, now living retired at Aledo, Illinois, and John L., now a 
prominent attorney at Muskogee, Oklahoma, who was formerly connected 
with his brother, AJfred L., in the newspaper business at Hutchinson. 

Alfred Lincoln Sponsler, third son and fifth child of Lewis and Maria 
(Wolfe) Sponsler, was born in Mercer county, Illinois, on April 30, i860, 
and was reared on the paternal farm in that county, receiving his elementary 
education in the district schools of his home neighborhood, after which he 
completed the course in Knox Academy at Galesburg and entered Knox Col- 
lege, same city, which institution he left at the age of twenty-three to study 
law in the office of John C Pepper at Aledo. In May, 1885, after formal 
examination, he was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of the state 
of Illinois, and then entered into partnership with Mr. Pepper, under the 
firm name of Pepper & Sponsler, and practiced law at Aledo for a year and 
a half, when he came to this county, locating at Arlington, with the expec- 
tation of engaging in the practical law at that place, but nistead, engaged in 
the real-estate business, being attracted thereto by the *1)oom" that was then 
under way in Kansas, and so continued in business there until November, 
1889, when he moved to Hutchinson, where he has ever since made his home. 

It was during the time of Mr. Sponsler's residence in Arlington, in 
1888, that he made one of the most remarkable political races ever recorded 
in this state. He was a candidate in that year for the nomination for state 
senator from this district on the Republican ticket. The senatorial conven- 
tion, which met at Pratt, was in deadlock from the very first ballot and after 
balloting for three days adjourned to meet at Turon. At the latter place 
three more days were consumed in ineffectual balloting, after which the con- 
vention adjourned sine die. Upon the next call of the district committee, 
the convention was held again at Turon, and after several hundred ballots, 
without a nomination, Mr. Six)nsler, who several times had come within one 
vote of the required number to make a choice, and on one ballot within one- 
naif vote of the nomination, withdrew his name from further consideration 
on the part of his faithful delegates and the nomination went to Hon. 
F. E. Gillette. 

Upon locating in Hutchinson in 1889, Alfred L. Sponsler, in connec- 
tion with his brother, John L. Sf>onsler, founded the Hutchinson Times, 
and in the next year bought the Republican, which they consolidated with 
the Times, presently picking up four other small papers, merging the same 
(20a) 



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306 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

with the Times, which they conducted under that name until 1891, in which 
year they purchased the Hutchinson Daily News, inckiding the job shop and 
bookbindery connected with the plant of that paper, and merged the Times 
with the latter paper, continuing the publication of the Neivs until the 
autumn of 1895, in which year the paper was bought by William Y. Morgan, 
now lieutenant-governor of Kansas and the present owner of the paper. 
Upon retiring from the newspaper business, Mr. Sponsler and his brother 
invested all their money in ear corn, which they cribbed at various points in 
Reno, Harper, Barber and Rice counties, and held until 1898, when they 
sold it at a nice profit. The next venture undertaken by Mr. Sponsler was 
the feeding of large bunches of live stock for the market. In this also he 
was quite successful and he then bought four hundred and fifty acres of 
grazing land in Salt Creek townhsip, this county, and engaged in the breed- 
ing of registered Shorthorn cattle, continuing in that business until the 
fall of 191 3, at which time he sold his herd and since then has confined his 
ranch cr]»cnitions wholly to grain farming; Coincident with his ranch 
operations, in 1906, in connection with Thomas G. Armour, Mr. Sponsler 
established a printing and publishing house at Hutchinson, the partners later 
organizing a building company, the Times Building Company, erecting a 
large office building on South Main street for their publications and put out 
a new newspaper, the Times. The next year they started the Wholesaler, 
presently merging the Times with the latter publication, and are still issuing 
the Wholesaler, in connection with which they also continue to operate 
their large printing plant, Mr. Armour l^eing the active manager of the same. 
Mr. Six)nsler ever since coming to Reno county has been prominently 
connected with all movements designed to advance the common good of 
this community, and his various newspapers have ever been outspoken in 
behalf of improvements and good government. It was through his efforts 
in 1892 that the Republican state convention was held in that year in Hutch- 
inson, the first time the convention had ever been held this far west, and 
during the winter of 1891-92 his efforts brought about a reorganization of 
the Commercial Club along lines which have proved valuable to the welfare 
of the city. Mr. Sponsler for years has taken an active part in politics and 
has been a delegate to many state conventions of his party. He was chair- 
man of the Reno county delegation to the convention which nominated Gov- 
ernor Morrill in 1894. Since 1889 he has attended every session of the 
General Assembly in behalf of the interests of good government and it is 
undeniable that he has personally exerted a wholesome influence upon legis- 
lation. He heli>ed organize the *'Kansas Day'' Club, of Kansas, and was 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 307 

delegate to the Trans-Mississippi congress in 1894. In the spring of 1901 
Mr. Sponslcr organized the Central Kansas Fair Association and was its 
first president. He later became secretary of this association and upon the 
merger of the Central Kansas Fair with the Kansas State Fair (which w^as 
created by the Kansas Legislature, session of 1913), became secretary of 
the latter and has so continued since that time, his admirable service in that 
connection now having covered a period of thirteen years. He was for 
seven years a member of the state board of agriculture and president of that 
organization during 1907 and 1908. He was also a member of the board 
of regents of the Kansas State Agricultural College three years and largely 
instrumental in electing Eh-. Henry J. Waters president of that institution. 
Mr. Sponsler is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the blue 
lodge at Hutchinson, and of the consistory at Wichita, and is warmly inter- 
ested in the philosophy of Masonry. He also is a life member of Hutchin- 
son Lodge No. 453, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

On September 27, 1887, Alfred L. ^Sponsler was married to Minnie 
Bentley, who was born in Mercer county, Illinois, on September 5, 1862, the 
daughter of James L. and Nancy (Smith) Bentley, who was educated in the 
common schools, the Aledo Academy and the Illinois State Normal. To 
this union two children were born, Cora, a graduate of the Hutchinson high 
school, who attended Kansas State Agricultural College one year, took a 
course for voice culture in the Knox Conservatory of Music, Galesburg, Illi- 
nois, and also in Chicago for a year and a half under private tutorship; and 
Lewis, who, after taking a two-year course in the Kansas State Agricultural 
College at Manhattan, and studying voice culture at Chicago, is now a stu- 
dent in Chicago Voice and Dramatic Art Schools. 

Mrs. Sponsler died at her home at the corner of Twelfth and Washing- 
ton streets on June 10, 1915, and was widely mourned throughout the city 
and county, for, ever since she had been a resident of Hutchinson she had 
been one of its leading citizens, in every field where women were needed 
she ever having been foremost. She had served as president of the W^omeirs 
Club, the pioneer of women's clubs in Hutchinson ; had also served as presi- 
dent of the city Federation of Women's Clubs, and in memory of her the 
women's clubs of Hutchinson have named their state endowment fund for 
her. She was a state officer in the "P. O. E.,'' having been one of the 
leaders in bringing the national convention of that sisterhood to Hutchin- 
son several years ago. She was intensely interested in music and was an 
active member of the Apollo Club. She also took a live interest in public 
affairs and was one of the supporters in the ecjual suffrage movement in 



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308 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Reno county, at the same time having done considerable work, in a quiet 
way, in behalf of the prohibition cause in the county and state. But with 
all her public activities, Mrs. Sponsler's most dominant trait was her love 
of home life, and it was at her fireside that she enjoyed herself most. She 
was a woman who put her family first over all and always remained a 
modest home-lovei, a womanly woman. 



ROSCOE C. LAYMAN. 



Roscoe C. Layman, son of Preston and Harriet (McNabb) Layman, 
was torn in Newix)rt, Tennessee, November 21, 1875. His father was 
born in the same place, September 13, 1833, and although born and reared 
in the South and surrounded by an influence favorable to secession in i860, 
he remained steadfastly loyal to the Union. When the Civil War came, as 
a result of the secession, and when his native state joined in the secession 
movement and took up arms against the old flag, and the Union of which 
it was the emblem, Preston Layman refused to follow the example of his 
native state. He was an avowed Union man, and in consequence of his 
known principles, his surroundings became exceedingly unpleasant, not to 
say hazardous. He found it necessary to leave his home and he eventually 
gave evidence of his sincere patriotism by enlisting in the Union army in 
defense of the flag. At Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1862, he enlisted in 
Company E, Second Tennessee Cavalry, and served in this command until 
the close of the war. Lender the command of Rosecrans, Thomas and Sher- 
man, this regiment participated in the campaigns through Kentucky, Tennes- 
see, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. It was in the battle of Stone's river, 
Chickamauga, Chattanooga, the several engagements in the Atlanta cam- 
paign, at Knoxville, Franklin and Nashville, and was finally mustered out 
of the service at Knoxville, at the close of the war. 

In all these engagements Preston Laymen bore a soldier's part, and, 
after his discharge returned to his old home in Tennessee. In February, 
1882, he removed to Kansas, settling in Arlington township, Reno county, 
where he l)ought one hundred and sixty acres of land from George Alex- 
ander. He added to his acres, from time to time, until at his death he was 
the owner of eleven hundred and twenty acres of as fine a body of land as is 
to l)e found in the county. He gave his attention to farming and cattle rais- 
ing and was one of the most successful in that line of industry in the cotmty. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 309 



His death occurred 'on November 27, 1909. He was a member of Cabal 
Lodge No. 299, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Arlington, Reno 
county: was a member of the Methodist church, and his political affiliations 
were with the Republican party. He served as justice of the peace of his 
township for six or eight years, was a member of the school board six years 
and was a trustee and an influential member of his church. 

Harriet (McNabb) Layman was bom in Newport, Tennessee, May 
4» 1843, the daughter of John, and Elizabeth (Dug^) McNabb. She was 
a member of the Methodist church and died on March 29, 1916, at Hutchin- 
^^n, Kansas. Her father, John McNabb, who owned twelve hundred acres 
^f land in Tennessee and had five or six family servants, was bom in a 
^ort which had been erected for protection against the Indians in the early 
^y^' He was a strong Union man in the days of the Civil War, and was 
Active worker in the Republican party after the war. He was a magis- 
trate and a tmstee and deacon in the Baptist church. 
■ The brothers and sisters of Roscoe C. layman are : William C. ; 

^ Orrin W., borr^in Newport, Tennessee; Delia, born in Newport, Tennessee, 

; and Arthur, bom in Newport, Tennessee. 

Roscoe C. Lavman was educated in the district schools of Reno countv, 
J and in the State Nornial School at Emporia, Kansas, which he attended two 

I terms. He then taught school for two years, and was principal of the 

t school in Langdon township, Reno county, for two years. He then turned 

} his attention to farming in Arlington township until 1909, when he removed 

to Hutchinson and engaged in the transfer business for about nine months. 
Following this he was engaged in the real estate and insurance business for 
about two years. In the last few years he has devoted his time and atten- 
' tion to his personal business and his farming interests, which are extensive. 

He is a member of the Hutchinson Commercial Club and an active member 
of the Christian church. Politically, he is a Democrat, and was the candi- 
date of his party for the state legislature in November, 191-4. 

Roscoe C. Layman was married. May 3, 1899, to Emma E. Fuller, 

(daughter of Daniel E. and Amy (Eynch) I'^uller, of Arlington, Reno county. 
Mrs. Layman was born in Mahaska ocunty, low^a. She is a member of the 
Woman's Club, a member and treasurer of the Mother's Club, and a mem- 
ber of the State Suffrage Association, an organization that succeeded in 
)?etting the right of franchise for women in Kansas two years ago Mrs. 
Lavman is also a member of the local Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union, and was its president for two years. She is a loyal Democrat and 
a orreat admirer of Mr. JelTerson and Mr. Wilson, the latter of whom she 



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3IO RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

ardently supported in the election of 19 12, not only by her vote but also 
by campaign speeches; her ability as a speaker is of state-wide reputation, 

Mrs. Layman's father was boni in Greene county, Pennsylvania, in 
1844, and died on September 17, 1892. He was a farmer, and a member 
of the Methodist church, and voted the Democratic ticket. Her mother was 
bom in Greene county, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1847, ^"d died on April 26. 
1916. 

Mr. and Mrs. Layman have two children : Zora Mabel, born in I^ng- 
don, Reno county, and Velma Gwendolyn, bom in Hutchinson. The family 
home is a beautiful new house at 307 Twelfth avenue. East. 



WILLLAM W. REXROAD. 

William W. Rexroad, a progressive and prosperous farmer of Lincoln 
I ^ township, this county, one of the ):)est-known and most energetic residents 

of the Darlow neighborhood, is a Virginian, having been bom in Woods 
county, Virginia, now a part of West Virginia, on November 4, 1854, son 
of John and Sarah (Campbell) Rexroad, both natives of Virginia, the for- 
mer of whom was bom in Pendleton county and the latter in Amherst 
county, both the Rexroads and the Campbells having been residents of Vir- 
ginia for several generations, the fomier family being of German descent. 

John Rexford was oen of a large family of children and grew up on a 
farm. He received an excellent education and upon reaching manhood's 
estate married and started farming for himself. In the spring of 1873, 
attracted by the fine reports at that time emanating from this section of 
Kansas, he decided to put in his lot with the homesteaders in that section 
and he and his family came out here, arriving in Hutchinson on March 31, 
of that year. John Rexroad homesteaded the west half of the northeast 
quarter of section 20, in Lincoln township, and bought an adjoining 
*'eighty,'' and there established his home, the family for some time living in 
a little two-room frame "shack.'' The next year the memorable grass- 
hopper visitation of 1874 made the outlook for the homesteaders rather 
uncertain for a time, but Mr. Rexroad was persevering and energetic and 
he presently began to prosper. After awhile he bought another adjoining 
**eighty/' thus becoming the owner of a full half section of fine land, and it 
was not long until he was looked upon as one of the substantial fanners 
of that neighborhood. John Rexroad and his wife were members of the 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 3II 



Baptist church, Mr. Rexroad formerly having been a deacon in that church, 
and were helpful in all good ways in the early days of their community. 
John Rexroad died at the old homestead in 1895, he then being seventy 
years of age, and his widow survived him for ten years, her death occurring 
k\ in 1905, at the age of seventy-five. They were the parents of eight sons, 

all of whom are still living, namely: William W., the immediate subject 
of this biographical sketch; John A., familiarly known among his friends 
as *7^ck,'' a prosperous building contractor at Ft. Worth, Texas; George 
W., who lives at Long Beach, California; Benjamin S., a well-known build- 
ing contractor o£ Hutchinson, this county; James M., a well-known farmer 
of Center township, this county; Joseph S., a farmer, living in the neighbor- 
hood of Gage, Oklahoma; Henry J., of Lincoln township, this coimty, and 
Marion, a farmer at Goodwill, Oklahoma. 

Being the eldest son, William W. Rexroad was his father's "right-hand 
man" during his boyhood, beginning at an early age to help out in the work 
of the farni, and his schooHng back in his old Virginia home consequently 
was much neglected. He was eighteen years of age when the family came 
to Reno county in 1873 and he at once became an active participant in the 
labor of preparing the homestead tract for habitation, remaining at home 
until 1880, in which year he bought a quarter of a section of unimproved 
land in Center township, where Charles D. Evans now lives, and proceeded 
to improve the same. Early in the year 1886 he married and established 
his home on that farm, making the same his home until 1890, in which year 
he sold the place to advantage and for a time thereafter lived on the farm 
of his brother, George. 

In 1900 Mr. Rexroad bought the unimproved southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 34, in Lincoln township, and has ever since made his home there. He 
has done very well in his farming operations and in 1907 erected his present 
fine farm house, one of the best in the neighborhood, and the year following 
built the large barn which is the center of quite a cluster of well-kept farm 
buildings, the home plot being situated on the crest of a gentle knoll, com- 
manding a fine view of the whole of the Ninnescah valley to the south. In 
addition to successfully farming his own quarter section, Mr. Rexroad is 
the lessee of the quarter section adjoining on the south, which latter tract he 
devotes wholly to grain farming. Mr. Rexroad is public-spirited in his 
general relations to the community, progressive and up-to-date in his methods 
as a farmer and is recognized as one of the most substantial citizens of that 
part of the county. 



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312 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

On February 26, 1886, William W. Rexroad was united in marriage 
to Minnie J. Bailey, who was bom in Iowa, arid to this union six children 
have been born, as follow: Lottie, bom on April 13, 1887, who married 
Charles Terry and lives in Hutchinson; Raymond, January 17, 1889, who 
married Ida Montgomery and is now farming in Missouri; Carl N., Septem- 
ber 3, 1896, now (1915) a student in the college at McPherson; John 
Edward, May 31, 1898, also a student at McPherson College; Ruth, Janu- 
ary 12, 1902, and Hazel, July 16, 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Rexroad are mem- 
bers of the Church of the Brethren, commonly called Dunkards, Mr. Rex- 
road being a deac6n in the church, and are among the leaders in all local 
good works, being held in high regard throughout that community. Mr. 
Rexroad was a Republican until the campaign of 19 12, since which time he 
has been an "independent," with Democratic leanings. He takes a warm 
interest in civic affairs and supports such candidates for office as in his esti- 
mation are best fitted for the proper performance of the duties of the public 
life. 



HON. F. C. FIELD. 



Hon. F. C. Field, f^ormer state senator from this district, a well-known 
real-estate dealer at Pretty Prairie, this county, and for many years a mer- 
chant of that thriving little city, is a native of Michigan, having been bom 
in Van Buren coiinty, that state, on July 16, i860, son of O. H. and Rhoda 
(Patterson) Field, the former a native of Michigan and the latter of Canada, 
who came to Kansas in the early seventies and became pioneers of Reno 
county. 

O. H. Field, an honored, veteran of the Civil War, who died at his home 
in this county in 1878, was the son of Calvin and Samantha (Stricklin) 
Field, the former of whom was lx)m at Batavia, New York, and the latter 
at Salem, Massachusetts. In 1837, the year following their marriage, Calvin 
Field and his wife emigrated to Michigan and established their home in Van 
Buren county, that state, where they became owners of considerable land. 
In 1874 he and his family moved from Michigan to Kansas and settled in 
Reno county, thus having been among the pioneers of this county, and here 
Calvin Field and his wife spent their last days. They were the parents of 
nine children, those besides Senator Field's father being Warren A., Herbert 
W., Florence E., Estelle, Oscar, Allene and two died in infancy. 

O. H. Field was reared on his parents' homestead farm in Michigan, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 3I3 

receiving his education in the schools of that neighborhood and became a 
great reader and close student of affairs. He married Rhoda Patterson, 
daughter of Ephraim Patterson and wife, natives of Ireland, who immigrated 
to Canada and later moved over the border into Michigan, becoming pioneers 
of the Ann Arbor neighborhood. Upon the organization of the Republican 
party O. H. Field affiliated with that party and was an ardent supporter of 
its principles until after the close of the war, when he became a Democrat. 
When the Civil War broke out he enlisted for service in Company K, Twelfth 
Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served for nearly five years, 
afterward being prominently connected with the Freedmen's Bureau. Dur- 
ing his military service Mr. Field was taken prisoner by the enemy and for 
a time was confined in Andersonville prison, later being transferred to Libby 
prison, whence he was exchanged. In 1876 he and his wife and their one 
child, the subject of this biographical sketch, came to Kansas and located 
in Reno county. Mr. Field took a timber claim in the Pretty Prairie section 
and there he died in the following summer, April 19, 1878. His widow 
married, secondly, PVank Nelson, of Rush county, this state, and made her 
home in the latter county the rest of her life, her death occurring on January 
9, 1890. 

F. C. Field was fifteen years old when he came to Reno county with 
his parents. He had received an excellent common-school education, which 
he supplemented by a course in Kilgore Business College. He spent two 
years in Colorado, prospecting in the gold fields, and then returned to Reno 
county, where he has made his home ever since. He became a farmer and 
was thus engaged until his removal to Pretty Prairie in 1893, where he 
engaged in the hardware business, in which he was actively engaged for 
twenty years. In 191 3 he became interested in the real-estate business and 
has since then been devoting his attention chiefly to that line. He has a very 
pleasant home in Pretty Prairie and is besides the owner of a fine farm of 
two hundred and sixty acres. 

For years Senator Field has given close attention to the political affairs 
of both county and state. He is a Democrat and in 1896 was elected senator 
from the thirty-sixth senatorial district, comprising Reno, Pratt and King- 
man counties. He was elected in 19 10 to the lower house of the assembly 
and served one term. 

On April 29, 1879, F. C. Field was united in marriage to Sarah A. 
Hartman, who was bom in Illinois on December 15, 1859, -daughter of 
Amos Hartman and wife, who came to Kansas in the sixties and later came 
to Reno county, and to this union seven children have been bom, namely: 



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314 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



Jessie, who married M. Winfrey and lives at Big Cabin, Oklahoma; Mabel 
S., who married J. J. Winfrey, a brother of the above, and lives at King- 
man, this state; Clarence A., of this county, who married Alberta Smith; 
Chester F., of Pretty Prairie, who married Martha Soft; Edith, who mar- 
ried W. v. Griffith; Ralph W., who married Maud Smith, a sister of the 
wife of his brother, Clarence, and Oscar, who died in infancy. Senator 
and Mrs. Field have twenty grandchildren. 



HERBERT C. HODGSON. 

In the field of agriculture, Herbert C. Hodgson has attained a place of 
honor in the community in which he lives. He is a native of Reno county, 
Kansas, having been bom there September i, 1876, on the homestead granted 
to his uncle, Thomas Hodgson, in 1872. Herbert C. Hodgson is the scm 
of William and Ellen (Ware) Hodgson, the former of whom is a native of 
Cumberland county, England, and the latter of Watertown, New York. 
It is worthy of note that the house in which the subject of this sketch was 
born was that in which the famous English soldier, Captain Hodgson, known 
for his services during the Indian Mutiny, was ushered into the world. The 
grandmother of Herbert Hodgson was Rebecca (Smithson) Hodgson, a 
cousin of the founder of the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D. C. 
The father of the subject of this sketch, who follows the occupation of a 
farmer, was prominent in the Civil War, where he had an active part in 
twenty-three battles and fought under the most noted generals of that time. 

The common schools of his native state afforded Herbert C. Hodgson 
his early educational advantages, and as a youth he became acquainted with 
the simple duties of fann life. He assisted his father for a number of 
years, after which he rented a quarter of a section of the home farm, which 
he uses for independent farming. In 1903 he erected on the farm a modem 
home, which forms the residence occupied by the subject of this sketch and 
his family at the present time. 

The marriage of Herbert C. Hodgson to Mary Ledgerwood, a native of 
Green county, Indiana, where she was born in 1880, was solemnized on May 
6, 1903. Mrs. Hodgson is the daughter of Andrew and Emily Ledgerwood, 
who came to Kingman county, Kansas, from Indiana, in 1884. Both par- 
ents are deceased. Mrs. Hodgson has been reared to the duties of farm 
life, and as a consequence adapts herself readily to all branches of rural 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 315 

3ncl home economics. She has devoted a great part of her time to the inter- 
ests of poultry, and has a small section of the farm devoted exclusively to 
^he raising of Plymouth Rock chickens. Two children born to Mr. and 
^'*^- Hodgson are Grace and Forest. In political afifairs Mr. Hodgson sup- 

T^'^ts the principles of the Republican partv, and takes a live interest in local 

^^^^tions. 



CHARLES A. LAMBERT. 

Giarles A. Lambert, a well-known and progressive farmer of Roscoe 
^^"^^nship, this county, clerk of that township and proprietor of a well-kept 
farm of two hundred acres in the Pretty Prairie neighborhood, is a native 
of Iowa, having been bom on a farm in Lee county, that state, April ii, 
1871, son of J. A. and Alice (Schooley) Lambert, the former a native of 
Kentucky and the latter of Iowa, pioneers of Reno county, who are still 
living in this county on their fine farm of two hundred and eighty acres in 
Roscoe township, the highway separating their home from that of their 
^West son, the subject of this biographical sketch. 

J. A. Lambert bom in Murphy county, Kentucky, August 14, 1847, son 

^' Robert and Anna (Scott) Lambert, the former of whom also was born 

^n that state and the latter in Tennessee. Robert I^ambert was the son of 

^^arles and Phoebe (Westerfield) I^ml^ert, who left their home in Murphy 

^<^unty, Kentucky, in 1854, and moved to Iowa, thence to Missouri, their 

^-st days being spent in Clark county, that state. Robert Lambert continued 

^'^'^^^ixig in Kentucky for some years after his marriage to Anna Scott, who 

^-^ tVie daughter of C. C. Scott, a wealthy slave owner, who had plantations 

^" in Tennessee and Missouri and later moved to Lee county, Iowa, where 

^^d his wife spent their last days. They were members of the Christian 

I '^^^crli and their children were reared in that faith. There were seven of 

jj P^^^ children, of whom J. A. Lambert is the eldest, the others having been 

^^^., James, C. D., Sarah, Margaret and Lydia. Robert Lambert died 

J^inuary 18, 1879, and his widow survived him many years, her death 

^^ luring on March i, 1905. 

J. A. Lambert was reared in Lee county, Iowa, and received his educa- 

^^ in the district school in the neighborhood of his home there. His par- 

^ ^^ were struggling to make their Iowa homestead profitable and at the 

c^Tly ^g^ Qf t^ji he began to contribute to the family support. Being the 

^*^^t child he was of large assistance to his father in the work of the farm 



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3l6 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

and was early inured to a life of toil. On October i8, 1853, he married 
Alice Schooley, who was born in Ohio, daughter of John and Edith (O'Neil) . 
Schooley, natives of Maryland, who later moved to Indiana, settling in the 
neighlx)rhood of Indianapolis, where they farmed for some years, later 
moving to Iowa, where they pre-empted eighty acres in Lee county, Iowa. 
In 1884 J. A, Lambert and family moved from Iowa to Kansas, settling in 
this county on a farm in Roscoe township, where Mr. Lambert and his wife 
still make their home, though now Hving alone, all their children having 
married and made homes of their own. 

F'or some time after coming here J. A. Lambert left the direction of 
the farm to his eldest son. Charles, who, with his brothers, farmed the place 
while their father was working on the railroad and in the brickyard at King- 
man, his wages from that source supporting the family until the farm was 
brought under profitable cultivation. Mr. Lambert presently engaged 
somewhat extensively in cattle raising and prospered, he now being the 
owner of a iine farm of two himdred and eighty acres, on which he lives 
practically retired from the active duties of the farm. To J. A. Lambert 
and wife eight children have been born, of whom the subject of this sketch 
is the eldest, the others being Robert, who died in infancy; Alma, who died 
when nine years old; Oscar M., Edith, Frank, Elizabeth and Andy. 

Charles A. Lambert was about twelve years old when he came to this 
county with his parents and his schooling was completed here. He \^s his 
father's mainstay in the work of developing the farm and in due time shared 
in the prosperity that marked the operations on the home farm, becoming 
the owner of his present fine farm of two hundred acres adjoining that of 
his father in Roscoe township, upon which he established his home at the 
time of his marriage in 1900. He erected a fine new house in 1907 and he 
extensively engaged in raising Shorthorn cattle and is regarded as one of th<! 
substantial farmers of his community. 

On March 7, 1900, Charles A. T^ambert was united in marriage to Alice 
Hemphill, who was horn in Ford county, Illinois, on March 5, 1871, daugh- 
ter of John and Sarah (Hutchison) Hemphill, the former of whom was 
torn in Ohio and the latter in Pennsylvania, daughter of James and Nancy 
( Frazer) Hutchison. John Hemphill was married in Ohio, later moving to 
LaSalle, Illinois, thence to Paxton, same state, where he and his family lived 
for fifteen years, at the end of which time, in 1879, he moved to Kansas, 
pre-empting a tract of land in this county, where he and his wife spent the 
remainder of their lives, his death occurring on April 4, 1889, and hers, 
April 20, 1903. To John Hemphill and wife eight children were bom: 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. -317 

Fannie, Frank, Josiah, Ellen, f Toward, Watson, Alice and Anna, all of 
whom are living save the first-bom. 

To Charles A. and Alice (Hemphill) Lambert one child has been bom, 
a daughter, Lola V., bom on November 21, 191 1. They are members of 
the United Presbyterian church, in which he has been elder for ten years, 
and in the various beneficences of which they take a warm interest, and are 
likewise properly interested in the various social activities of their neighbor- 
hood. Mr. Lambert ever has taken a proper interest in the civic affairs of 
his community and has served the public in the capacity of township clerk. 
He is a Democrat and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. 



JAMES MILLS. 



The subject of this sketch came to Reno county in 1873. Settling on 
a homestead in Little River township he endured the hardships incident to 
pioneer days, passed with fortitude through the lean years which afflicted 
the early settlers, acquired a large estate, and is now comfortably situated 
in his pleasant home in Yoder township. 

James Mills was born on October 6, 1850, at North Kingston, Rhode 
Island, the son of George and Ruth (Northrup) Mills, both of whom were 
born in Rhode Island, the former of English and the latter of Scotch 
descent. The father of George Mills was a soldier during the War of 181 2. 
He lost his life when a United States war vessel was sunk in 181 3. George 
Mills was bom in 1814, a few months after his father's death. Grand- 
mother Mills was married a second time and went to Ohio where she secured 
a land grant for her husband's war services. George Mills had an elder 
brother, Varnum, who lived and died in New York City. 

George Mills was bom in Newport, Rhode Island, but grew up in the 
city of Brooklyn, New York. He had to shift for himself from the time he 
was a small boy. He worked in a drug store and became a pharmacist, and 
later was employed on the police force at Newport, Rhode Island. George 
Mills w^as a member of the Baptist church and his wife was a Methodist. 
He died in 1896, at the age of eighty-two years, and his wife died in 1899, 
at the age of seventy-eight. To George and Ruth (Northmp) Mills were 
bom eight children, three of whom came to Kansas, namely: George, who 
lives in McPherson county, entered a homestead there in 1875; Charles, 



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3l8 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

deceased, once lived in this state but went back East; James, the subject of 
this sketch, was the fourth child born to his parents. 

James Mills secured a good elementary education in the common schools 
in North Kingston, Rhode Island, after which he worked as a farm hand 
near his home town. In 1873 he came to Reno county, this state, and set- 
tled on a quarter section homesteacl in Little River township, in section 2, 
township 22, range 4 west. His brother, Charles, came to the county soon 
afterAvard and took a pre-emption nearby, James Mills built a small house, 
twelve by fourteen feet, and lived on the homestead until 1890. He was 
married in 1878, and prospered during the early years of his residence fn 
this county, presently being the owner of six hundred and eighty acres of 
land. 

In i8go James Mills moved to Lincoln township and bought eighty 
acres in section 7, where he lived until 1905. He then bought one hundred 
and twenty acres adjoining, to which farm he moved and where he still 
makes his home. Mr. Mills also bought four hundred and eighty acres in 
section i, in Lincoln township, and now owns six hundred and eighty acres 
in all. He feeds a small herd of cattle each year, but devotes his attention 
chiefly to grain farming. 

On October i, 1878, James Mills was married to Julia E. Hobson, who 
was bom in Campbell county, Kentucky, the daughter of Benjames James 
and Mary I^lizal^eth (Watson) Hobson, native of Virginia and Maryland, 
respectively, who were married in Washington. D. C. 

Benjames J. Hobson was a machinist by trade and located on Licking 
river, in C«ampbell county, Kentucky, where he operated a saw-mill. From 
there he went to Covington, Kentucky, and conducted a large distillery for 
a few years. In 1872 he brought his family to Reno county, and took up 
a timl>er claim in section 2, in Little River township. Mr. Hobson made 
an unsuccessful attempt at raising i>eppermint, but found the climate unsuited 
to that crop. Leaving his family in Kansas he went back to Kentucky to 
secure employment, but soon returned to this state. Later he had charge 
of a distillery at Peoria, Illinois, for a number of years. Benjames J. Hob- 
son was born on November 3, 1828. He now makes his home with his son- 
in-law, Mr. Mills. Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Hobson died in 1902, at the age 
of sixty-eight years. 

James and Julia E, (Hobson) Alills were the parents of eight children, 
as follow: Edith, who was born in August, 1880, was assistant of an 
Indian school in Xew Mexico, and is now living at home; Louie, who was 
born in 1882. married Walter Duncan and lives on part of her father's fann 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 3I9 

in Yoder township; Benjames J., who was born in August, 1884, is a farmer 
in Oklahoma; George, who was born in October, 1886, is a machinist; Fred, 
who was born in March, 1880, married Lois Wilson and lives on the home 
farm in Lincoln township; David, born in February, 1895; Robert, bom in 
February, 1897, ^"d Rete, born in December, 1904, are at home. 

Mr. Mills usually supports the Republican party in national issues, but 
is an independent in local affairs, preferring the man best suited for the 
office regardless of party. He is always found ready to support any measure 
calculated to promote the welfare of the county, and has served as a member 
of the school board. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen. Mrs. Julia Mills is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
James Mills has had no small i>art in introducing modern farming methods 
into this section, and his success has been a valuable example in the com- 
munity. Mr. and Mrs. Mills have many friends among whom they are held 
in high esteem. 



BARCLAY L. JESSUP. 



Barclay L. Jessup, cashier of the State Bank of Abbyville, this county, 
and one of the leaders in the financial and commercial life of that part of 
the county, is a native Hoosier, but has been a resident of this county ever 
since he was nine years old and may therefore be looked upon as an "old- 
timer" hereabout. He was born near the city of Greenfield, in Hancock 
county, Indiana, October i, 1877, son of J. B. and Elmira (Ferrin) Jessup, 
the former of whom was born in that same county and the latter in the 
city of Indianapolis, Indiana, who for years have made their home in the 
western part of this county. 

J. B. Jessup was engaged in the lumber business in Indiana, which he 
sold and moved to Kansas in the fall of 1886 and settled at Peace Creek in 
Reno county, whence, after a short time he moved on to Colorado, but in 
1888 returned to Reno county and bought a farm near Sylvia, in the western 
part of the county, where he has ever since made his home, being engaged 
in general farming and stock raising. He is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and he and his wife are active members of the United 
Brethren church. They are the parents of three children, of whom the 
subject of this sketch is the eldest, the others being Marion and Victor. 

Barclay L. Jessup was about nine years old when he came v?ith his 
parents from Indiana to Reno county and his schooling was continued in 



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320 . RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

the Sylvia schools, upon completing the course at which he began teaching 
school, later attending the normal school at Salina, after which he taught 
another term of school and then took a course in the business college at 
Kansas City. The following fall he put out a crop of wheat and then 
entered the employ of a merchant at Hutchinson, for whom he clerked until 
the first of January, 1900, when he entered the State Bank of Sylvia as a 
bookkeeper and was thus engaged for two years and nine months, at the 
end of which time he went to Denver, Colorado, where for a time he was 
engaged as reporter for the International Mercantile Agency. He then was 
given charge of a supply store in the Clear Creek, gold-mining district of 
Colorado, and remained there eight months, at the end of which time he was 
called back to Reno county as cashier of the State Bank of Abbyville, which 
position he has held ever since. Mr. Jessup entered upon his duties as 
cashier of the bank on September i, 1903, and since then has come to be 
regarded as one of the leading bankers and business men of that part of the 
county. He also has extensive farming interests in this county and is secre- 
tary and one of the directors of a telephone company. 

In 1909 Barclay L. Jessup was united in marriage to Alma Cumutt, 
and to this union two children have been bom, Ruth and Frieda. Mr. 
Jessup is a Republican and is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellow 
fraternities, in the affairs of which organizations he takes a warm interest. 



WILLIAM R. CROW. 



William R. Crow, the son of Isaac and Mary A. (Calvert) Crow, was 
bom in Harriettsville, Noble county, Ohio, on May 24, 1870. Isaac Crow 
was a farmer and stock raiser and came to Reno township in 1889 where he 
accumulated eight hundred and ten acres of land in sections 17 and 19. In 
1900 he retired from active life and moved to Hutchinson where he died at 
his home, 1217 Eleventh avenue west, in 1904. Isaac Crow was a native 
of Harriettsville, Ohio. Mary A. (Calvert) Crow was born in Belmont 
County, Ohio, and is still living at 106 Ninth avenue east, Hutchinson. Mr. 
Crow was a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and he and 
his wife were active members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

To Isaac Crow and wife were bom the following children: William R., 
Leola Dell, Edwin G., Elizabeth, the wife of E. F. Danford; George L. and 
Otis H. 



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PRIZES UKCEIVED BY WILLIAM R. CROW FOR SWINE EXHIBITS. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 32 1 

William R. Crow was educated in the district school of Noble county, 
Ohio, and in Reno county/ Kansas. He came to Reno county in 1889 with 
his father and engaged in farming and stock raising. In 1892 he bought the 
southeast quarter of section 24, township 23 south, range 7 west, which had 
been homesteaded by J. D. Langlois. Mr. Crow sold the place, when he 
removed to Hutchinson, in 1896, to engage in the cattle and hog business. 
He now lives at 1300 South Poplar street, where he owns a fine home and 
seventeen acres of land. 

Mr. Crow and his sons are engaged in the cattle and the hog business 
under the finn name of William R. Crow & Sons. They make a specialty 
of breeding the very best Duroc-Jersey hogs and their success has been most 
satisfactory. The two sons, Philip Ladd and Francis Luther have added 
greatly to the success of the business. The industry was started but fourteen 
years ago on a very small scale. While Mr. Crow was working in a creamery 
he purchased a few hogs and developed them mostly on buttermilk. Under 
the careful care of Mrs. Crow the hogs thrived and in time some of them 
were exhibited at the county fair, but no ribbons were won. The showing 
made at this time encouraged both Mr. and Mrs. Crow and they determined 
to purchase some of the very best hogs that it was possible for them to get. 
Having made the decision, Mrs. Crow went to Wichita and purchased a pair of 
Durocs from J. U. Howe for one hundred dollars, which was as much as 
they could aflford to invest at that time. The next fall they won one hun- 
dred and twenty dollars in premiums. In 191 3 their hogs won a silver 
trophy at Hutchinson, at the state fair, being the best young herd of Durocs. 
In 1914 they won a solid silver pitcher for best young herd; in 191 5 they 
won silver medals at Topeka and at Hutchinson. The prizes were all valued 
at from seventy-five to one hundre<l dollars each and were given by the 
National Duroc-Jersey Record Association. In IQ15 the state of Kansas had 
selected the herd belonging to Mr. Crow for exhibition at the San Francisco 
exposition, but owing co the outbreak of the "foot and mouth" disease that 
year they were not allowed to transport them. 

On May 4, 1892, William R. Crow was united in marriage to Minnie 
Eisiminger, the daughter of Harvey Eisiminger and wife. Mrs. Crow was 
a native of Broadwell, Illinois, where she was born on October 5, 1870. To 
this union one son was bom, Harvey, who was born on March 18, 1893. He 
is a graduate of the business college at Hutchinson and at present is a book- 
keeper for the Arlington Hardware Company, at Arlington. 

On November 25, 1897, William R. Crow was united in marriage at 
(2ia) 



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322 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Hutchinson, to Gertrude Phillips, the daughter of William and Helen A. 
(Root) Phillips. Mrs. Crow was a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, where 
she was born on February 24, 1871. 

William Phillips was born in Leroy, New York, and came to Kansas 
in 1875 and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres in Lincoln township. 
He later sold this place and removed to Kalamazoo county, Michigan, where 
he engaged in farming until his death in 1885. Mr. Phillips was a veteran 
of the Civil War, having first enlisted in New York and served two years, 
after which he enlisted at Kalamazoo and served until the close of the war. 

Helen A. (Root) Phillips was a native of Michigan, where she lived for 
many years. In 1886 after the death of her husband, William Phillips, she 
came to Kansas, where she homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land 
and where she lived for three years. She later sold the place and moved to 
Hutchinson. In 1898 she was united in marriage to B. H. Pickett, a farmer 
of Clay township and they resided at their home in this township until her 
death on March 2, 1916. 

The brothers and sisters of Gertrude Crow are as follow: Nellie, the 
wife of George E. Reed; Christa, the wife of James McMullin; Margaret, 
who died at the age of four; Lotta, the wife of George Chesbro; Louie, the 
wife of Aaron Phelps, and Blanche, the wife of C. V. Wilson. 

To William and Gertrude Crow have been born the following children : 
Philip Ladd, born on January 11, 1899; Francis Luther, August 4, 1900; 
Mary, February 5, 1905; Edward Robert, June 7, 1909; Catherine Alberta, 
April 7, 1911, and Josephine Elizabeth, March 15, 1915. 



REV. DUDLEY DENTON AKIN, D. D. 

The Rev. Dudley Denton Akin, D. D., superintendent of the Hutchin- 
son district of the Methodist Episcopal church and for many years one of 
the best-known and most influential ministers of the gospel in the state of 
Kansas, is a native of Kentucky, having been bom in the to.wn of Lancaster, 
that state, February 16, 1844, son of Joseph and Josephine (Woodruff) 
Akin, both natives of that same state, the former bom in 1814 and the latter 
in 1822. 

Joseph Akin was a merchant tailor at Lancaster and spent his last days 
there, his death occurring in April, 1846. His widow survived him many 
years, her death occurring at the home of her son, the subject of this sketch. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 323 

at Lyons, Kansas, on March 20, 1894. Joseph Akin was a Methodist and 
his wife was a Presbyterian, They were the parents of four children, of 
whom Doctor Akin is now the only survivor, the others having been as fol- 
low: Elizabeth, who married Frank Hopkins, a hotel keeper at Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, now^ deceased ; Joseph, who was a printer at Port Gibson, Missis- 
sippi, and Josephine, who married John Davis, a farmer, of Sulphur Well, 
Jessamine county, Kentucky, now deceased. 

Dudley D. Akin was reared at Lancaster, Kentucky, receiving his ele- 
mentary education in the ''pay'* schools of that place, supplementing the 
same by a course in Professor Babcock's seminary there. He then began 
clerking in the general store of Rochester & McNeil at Lancaster and was 
thus engaged until he entered the service of the Union army at eighteen 
years of age. He enlisted on August 21, 1862, in Company A, Eleventh 
Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry, under Colonel Riley, and served to the close 
of the war, a part of which service was performed under Colonel Holman 
and part under Colonel Graham. He was mustered in at the old fair 
grounds at Louisville, Kentucky, as a first sergeant and served with that 
rank throughout the war, being mustered out at Camp Chase, near Colum- 
bus, Ohio, on May 21, 1865. During this service Sergeant Akin partici- 
pated in the battles at Creelsburg, Kentucky; Athens, Philadelphia, Mays- 
ville, Moss Creek and Knoxville, Tennessee, and helped pursue General 
Morgan, the famous Confederate cavalry raider, through Kentucky, Indiana 
and Ohio and was one of the force of .twenty which led the advance of two , 
hundred and forty under Major George W. Rue, when Morgan was cap- 
tured near New Lislx>n, Ohio. As amanuensis he wrote the draft of the 
official report on the capture of Morgan, dictated by Majors Rue and Gra- 
ham and Captain Pond. On May 12, 1864, while attached to Sherman's 
army, Sergeant Akin was captured by the enemy and for seven months was 
held prisoner ; four months in Andersonville prison and three months in the 
prison pen at Florence, Alabama, being one of the four members of the 
squad of twenty-onje captured with him who survived the terrible ordeal. 
Sergeant Akin was not wounded during his period of service. 

Upon the completion of his military service Mr. Akin returned to his 
home in Kentucky and in the fall of 1865 was married. For six years 
thereafter he was engaged in farming and then, feeling strong within him 
the call to the gospel ministry, entered Ayers Academy in Madison county, 
Kentucky, and prepared for the ministry. Following his ordination to 
service in the Methodist Episcopal church he entered the itinerant ministry 



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324 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

in February 26, 1872, and has ever since been actively engaged in the service 
of the church. Doctor Akin recalls that for his first year's service he 
received one hundred and seventy-five dollars, mainly in supplies of one 
kind and another. He remained in the Kentucky conference, pastor of 
churches at Vanceburg and at Covington, until the fall of 1880, when he 
was transferred to the Kansas conference and ever since has labored in 
behalf of Methodism in this state, a period of more than thirty-five years, 
his whole period of consecutive and effective service on behalf of the church 
being now more than forty-four years, during which time his yearly salary 
has averaged one thousand two hundred and ninety-four dollars. During 
his period of service in this state Doctor Akin has been pastor of churches 
at McPherson, Eldorado, Hutchinson (First church), Wichita (Emporia 
avenue), Arkansas City, Lyons, Peabody, Marion and Sterling. In 1905 
he received the appointment as district superintendent of the McPherson 
district of the Southwest Kansas conference, in which position he served for 
four years, at the end of which time he was appointed superintendent of the 
Hutchinson district, which position he holds at this date. During this period 
of superintendency Doctor Akin has raised in behalf of foreign missions the 
sum of more than two hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of the amounts 
raised by various local women's home and foreign mission societies. He 
h::s fifty churches under his supervision, to each one of which he makes 
quarterly visits, besides such incidental calls as become necessary froni 
time to time. 

Doctor Akin's honorary title of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon 
him by the American University, Harriman, Tennessee, May 21, 1902. He 
is a Freemason and a Knight Templar and a member of the Peabody post 
of the Grand Army of the Republic and at one time served as chaplain of 
the Department of Kansas of that patriotic organization. He is a Repub- 
lican and has ever given a good citizen's attention to political affairs. He 
owns a handsome home at 771 1 Avenue A, East, in Hutchinson, besides 
other valuable residence property in that city ; a quarter of a section of land 
in McPherson county, this state; real estate in Lewis, Kansas, and Manitou, 
Colorado, and some land and town lots in Zephyr Hills and St. Cloud, 
Florida. 

On October 24, 1865, Dudley D. Akin was united in marriage, in 
Jessamine county, Kentucky, to Sarah E. Sagerser, who was born in that 
county in 1845, daughter of Henry Sagerser and wife, and to this union 
seven children were born, namely: Josephine, who married the Rev. E. J 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 325 

Harper, an Episcopal minister at St. Catherines, Canada; James, a book- 
keeper at Arkansas City, this state; Dudley H., a plumber and electrician at 
Sacaton, Arizona; Merrill, a building contractor at Shawnee, Oklahoma; 
Elizabeth, who married Ross Day and lives at Claremont, California; Amos 
S., a teacher of i)enmanship at San Diego, California, and John T., a student. 
The mother of these children died at Peabody, Kansas, February 6, 1900, 
and on February 16, 1901, Doctor Akin married, secondly, Mrs. Belle 
(Sanders) Randall, widow of the Rev. Mr. Randall, a Methodist minister, 
which union was without issue. Mrs. Belle Akin, who was born at Martins- 
burg, Ohio, January 22, 1853, died at Hutchinson, this county, September 
26 191;. At the annual conference held in Wichita, March 8, 1916, Doctor 
Akin was granted the retired relation at his own request. 



WILLIAM MUELLER, JR. 

William Mueller, Jr., one of the most extensive landowners and wealthy 
farmers in this county, being the owner of more than thirteen hundred acres, 
and who also acts as manager for the large estate of his father, the latter of 
whom is the owner of twelve hundred acres of choice land in this county, 
is a native of Illinois, having been born on a farm in Will county, that state, 
January 14, 1874, son of William and Christina (Besta) Mueller, both 
natives of Germany, the fomier bom in Brunswick and the latter in Wal- 
deck, who later became pioneers of this county and are still living on their 
line estate in Haven township. 

William Mueller was bom in 1841 and grew up on a small farm in 
Germany. When he was twenty-five years old he and his brother, Chris- 
tian, emigrated to the United States and settled in Will county, Illinois, 
where they found employment as farm hands. About that time there 
arrived in that neighborhood a party of German girls who had come to this 
country under the auspices of an immigration society, among whom was 
Christian Besta, who secured domestic employment in a farm house nearby 
the farm where WilHam Mueller was working. Not long thereafter Will- 
iam Mueller and Christian Besta were married and two or three years later, 
in 1875, they and their baby son William, and Mr. Mueller's brother, Chris- 
tian, came to Kansas, locating in Reno county. William Mueller, Sr., 
bought the northwest quarter of section 30, in Haven township, and his 
brother bought an eighty, but the latter presently sold his ''eighty'' to his 



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326 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

brother and returned to Will county, Illinois, where he is still living, a 
quite well-to-do farmer. 

It was on that homestead tract, in Haven township, that William 
Mueller, Sr., and his wife laid the foundation for their present very sub- 
stantial fortune. Both were industrious, frugal and willing, working toge- 
ther to a common end and from the very start of their operations in this 
county prospered. William Mueller early went in somewhat extensively 
for cattle raising and his operations in that line also prospered, he soon 
becoming regarded as one of the most substantial figures in that part of the 
county. As he prospered he added to his land holdings until he now is the 
owner of twelve hundred acres of fine land in this county, besides eighty 
acres of very fine irrigated land in Los Animas county, Colorado. He has 
erected excellent buildings on his homestead farm in Haven township and 
there he and his competent helpmate are now living, very comfortably sit- 
city should be put on a cash basis and a sound financial footing, city orders 
uated and practically retired from the active duties of the farm, twenty 
years ago having turned the management of the same over to their only 
son, William, the immediate subject of this biographical sketch, who, in the 
meantime had been making as pronounced a success of his farming opera- 
tions as had his father. William Mueller, Sr., is a Democrat and ever has 
taken an earnest interest in local political affairs, but has not been included 
in the office-seeking class. He and his wife are among the leading mem- 
bers of the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church near Ilaven and he is 
a stockholder in the Farmers Grain Company at Haven. To him and his 
wife one othei- child was torn, daughter, Minnie, who married the Rev. 
Ludwig Brauer, a Lutheran minister living near Herrington, this state. 

The junior William Mueller was a babe in arms, about one year old, 
when his parents came to this county, in 1875, ^"^ he may very properly 
thus be regarded as one of the pioneers of Reno county, though still a 
comparatively young man. In his boyhood he was inured to hard labor, for 
his parents were f>oor then and his assistance was needed in the difficult 
labors of developing the homestead farm. He attended the Mt. Liberty 
school, district No. 109, in Haven township, during the winters of his 
youth and later, when his father began to grow prosi^erous, was given the 
advantage of a course in Waller College (Lutheran) at St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, which he supplemented by a course in the Southwestern Business 
College at Wichita, this state. To this he continually added a study of the 
latest and most approved methods of scientific agriculture and early equipped 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 327 

himself for the duties of managing his father's large estate. After his mar- 
riage, in 1896, the management of the farm was turned over to him and 
he ever since has had charge of his father's farms, making his home in a 
very comfortable house not far from the parental home on the old home- 
stead. In his own affairs he has prospered largely, having gradually added 
to his personal land holdings until he now is the owner of thirteen hundred 
and thirty acres of land, including a farm of five himdred and twenty acres 
in Ford county, this state; a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in 
Gove county, this state; one hundred and seventy acres near Anness, in 
Sedgwick county ; a quarter section in Clay township, this county, and a 
quarter section in Haven township. In addition to his general farming he 
has gone in somewhat extensively for hog raising and does a big business 
in that line. He owns a couple of fine automobiles and rides around among 
his farms directing the operation of the same, doing everything on a large 
scale. Mr. Mueller is backed by sufficient personal capital to enable him to 
buy large quantities of grain and hold the same for a rise in the market, 
having realized considerable profit from time to time by such procedure, 
long having been regarded as one of the most enterprising and energetic 
farmers and ranchmen in the county. 

On July 30, 1896, William Mueller, Jr., was united in marriage to 
Johanna Meissner, who was bofn in the province of Holstein, Germany, 
daughter of Louis and Mary Meissner, who came to the United States 
when their daughter, Johanna, was eight years old and located in Haven 
township, this county, where Louis Meissner died in 1893 and where his 
widow is still living. To Mr. and Mrs. Mueller three children have been 
bom, Meta, bom in 1897; Walter, 1899, and Amold, 191 1. They are 
members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church and are liberal sup- 
porters of all worthy causes looking to the advancement of the common 
welfare hereabout. 



C. W. CLAYBAUGH. 



C. W. Claybaugh, editor of the Pretty Prairie Times, was born in 
Trenton, Missoin-i, March 13, 1876. He is the son of C. M. and Lavina 
(Turk) Claybaugh, natives of Indiana. 

C. M. Claybaugh was for many years a traveling salesman for a nur- 
sery company and made his home at Trenton, Missouri, until three years 
before his death, when he removed to Nickerson, Kansas, where he died 



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y^H RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

in December, 1913. Mrs. Claybaugh died in July, 191 1. They were the 
parents of the following children: Gertie, now deceased, was the wife of 
G. A. Beck, an artist of New York City ; Grace is the wife of J. H. Drake, 
of Nickerson; Mae married W. H. Wiseman, of Des Moines, Iowa; C. W. 
is the subject of this sketch; Winnie, deceased, and Bessie, who died at the 
age of nineteen years. At the age of seventeen, C. M. Claybaugh enlisted 
in the Union army and served for three months during the Civil War. At 
his death he was given a military burial at Nickerson.' 

C. W. Claybaugh received his education in the cc«nmon and high school 
of Trenton, Missouri, and soon after completing his education he began 
working for himself. On June 18, 1899, he was married in New York City 
to Lenore Travis, a native of Missouri and the daughter of Dr. K. W. 
Travis, who still resides at Spickards, Missouri. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Claybaugh have been born two children: Kelly W., 
bom on July 12, 1901, and Charles W., December 2, 1903. For seven 
years the family were residents of New York City, where Mr. Claybaugh 
was engaged in the portrait enlarging business. In 1908 the family re- 
moved to Missouri, where they remained until 1910, when they again 
became residents of New York City, where Mr. Claybaugh had a position 
as operator of a moving picture show and foreman in a printing office on 
Long Island. After remaining there two years the family became residents of 
Atlantic, Iowa, where Mr. Claybaugh was foreman in the office of the Daily 
Telegraph. On July 15, 1913, the family became residents of Pretty Prairie, 
where Mr. Claybaugh had purchased the Times, which paper had been estab- 
lished by Percy Torrey on August 15, 1910. 



JACOB L. SIEGRIST. 



Jacob L. Siegrist, one of Reno county's most progressive and substantial 
farmers, who has been a resident of this county since the spring of 1876, thus 
being accounted among the pioneers of the county, is a native of Illinois, 
having been born on a farm near the town of Tremont, in Tazewell county, 
that state, on August i, 1850, son of John and Elizabeth (Yontz) Siegrist. 
both bom in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, 
their respective families having been represented in that community for more 
than two hundred years. 

John Siegrist was born on January 18, 1823, son of Christian and Hettie 



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(>^^^^^^ J^^C^^-^Uy^Cl ^ pnrt^LA^ 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 329 

Siegrist, members of the Memionite church and well-to-do farming people of 
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, both members of old Pennsylvania-Dutch 
families that had long been resident thereabout. He grew up on the paternal 
farm and on April 24, 1848, married Elizabeth Yontz, then eighteen years 
of age, who was bom in that same county on February 12, 1831, daughter 
of Jacob and Fannie Yontz, both of Swiss descent, but whose families had 
been so long represented in the Lancaster county settlement that they were 
firmly merged in the common Pennsylvania-Dutch stock there and who were 
Lutherans in their religious persuasion. Immediately after their marriage 
John Siegrist and his bride started for the prairies of Illinois, determined 
to make, for themselves a home in that then remote country. They pro- 
ceeded by boat from Pittsburgh to St. Louis and thence up the Illinois river 
to Tazewell county, where John Siegrist bought a quarter section of */Con- 
gress land*' at one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, and there, in the 
Tremont neighborhood, almost the exact center of the county, they proceeded 
to make their home. At that time their nearest neighbor was two miles 
distant and the dread fever and ague which then were so prevalent throughout 
all that new country for a time made their lives miserable, but they were 
stout-hearted and gradually overcame the difficulties which confronted them 
during the pioneer stage of their life there and eventually prospered and had 
a fine farm, rearing their children amid plenty and comfort; but it was nine- 
teen years before Mrs. Siegrist was able to make a visit back to her old home 
in Pennsylvania. 

In 1876 John Siegrist's attention began to be attracted to the glowing 
reports at that time emanating from this favored section of Kansas and he 
and his eldest son, Jacob L., the subject of this sketch, came to Reno county 
to look the land over. Mr. Siegrist contracted for four sections of land 
here, with the expectation of engaging largely in the business of cattle rais- 
ing, and, leaving his son here, returned to IlUnois, where he closed -up his 
affairs, selling his Tazewell county farm for forty dollars an acre, and he 
and the other members of his family came to Reno county to establish a new 
home. Upon arriving here Mr. Siegrist had fifteen thousand dollars avail- 
able for investment. He changed his mind about buying a great cattle range 
and, instead, decided to go in for wheat raising. He bought the southwest 
quarter of section 22, township 23, range 6 west, in Reno township, and a 
full section of school land in Salt Creek township. In 1877 he built a fine 
frame house on his Reno township quarter and later bought another quarter 
section adjoining. His house then was one of the best in this county and is 
still a fine country home. During the first four years of his residence here 



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330 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Mr. Siegrist lost practically all his crops due to the droughts of those years, 
but presently began to prosper and became one of the most substantial farm- 
ers in the county. He paid much attention to the raising of hogs and is said 
to have shipped four of the best carloads of hogs ever sent out of this county. 
Air. Siegrist was a strong, robust man and retained his vigor and interest in 
affairs right up to the closing days of his life, his death occurring on August 
15, 1907, at the age of eighty-five years. His widow is still living on the 
old home place, the farm now being under the management of their eldest 
son, Jacob L., the subject of this sketch. 

To John and Elizabeth (Yontz) Siegrist seven children were born, 
namely: Jacob L., of whom further mention will be made later; Mary, who 
married George Spangenberger and lives on a farm in Reno township ; Abra- 
ham, a former well-known Reno township farmer, who died in 191 3; George 
W., a prosperous grain merchant at Whiteside, this county; Heftie, who 
married William Hodson and lives at Herington, this state ; John Henry, who 
died at the age of six months and two days, and Annie, who married Claud 
Epperson and lives in Lincoln township, this county. 

Jacob Siegrist received his education in the district school in the neigh- 
borhood of his pioneer home in Tazewell county, Illinois, and being the 
eldest son was his father's mainstay on the farm. On April 14, 1876, he 
then being twenty-six years old, he came to this county with his father seek- 
ing a location. While his father returned home, preparatory to removing 
to this county, Jacob L. Siegrist remained here, looking over the country, for 
about a year, at the end of which time he, too, returned to his Illinois home 
and there, on February 6, 1877, was united in marriage to Libbie A. Biggs, 
who was bom in Hamilton county, Ohio, on February 22, 1853, daughter of 
John and Serena Biggs, and then returned to this county with his parents and 
the others of the family when they came here in the early spring of that 
same year. Upon locating permanently in this county, Mr. Siegrist bought 
one-fourth of the section of school land which his father had bought in Salt 
Creek township and there made his home until 1902, in which year he 
moved to his father's place in Reno township to take the active management 
of the same, and there he ever since has made his home. During his resi- 
dence in Salt Creek township he had added to his holdings there by the pur- 
chase of an eighty-acre tract adjoining and upon moving to Reno township 
bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres adjoining that place and is 
therefore quite a well circumstanced landowner. Mr. Siegrist is known as 
an excellent farmer. He claims to have raised the first acre of alfalfa ever 
produced on Reno county soil, now one of the county's chief crops, and also 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 33 1 

brought to this county the first large English Berkshire hogs ever brought 
here. For fourteen years he gave much attention to the breeding of full- 
blood Berkshires and did very much toward elevating the standard of hog 
raising hereabout. 

To Jacob L. and Libbie A. (Biggs) Siegrist five children were bom, 
as follow: John H., born on November 14, 1877, a valuable assistant to his 
father on the home farm; Myrtle, November 12, 1879, who married Byron 
A. Eastman, a well-known farmer of Reno township, a biographical sketch of 
whom is presented elsewhere in this volume; Arthur, July 3, 1881, who lives 
on his father's farm in Salt Creek township; Alpha, June 9, 1887, ^ Reno 
township farmer, and Wesley, May 16, 1894, who lives on a farm in Grant 
township, this county. The mother of these children died on March 22, 

1913- 

Mr. Siegrist was a Republican but for the past twenty years has been 
independent, and ever has given a good citizen's attention to political affairs, 
but never has been a candidate for public office. Since he was twenty-one 
years old he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and ever has taken a warm interest in the affairs of that popular fraternal 
organization. 



HON. FRANK L. MARTIN. 

The Hon. Frank L. Martin, for years a leader of the bar at Hutchinson, 
former judge of the district court, twice mayor of the city of Hutchinson 
and member of the lower house of the Kansas General Assembly, generally 
regarded hereabout as one of the best informed and most learned lawyers 
in this part of Kansas, is a native of Illinois, having been bom on a farm 
in Hancock county, that state, March 15, i860, son of Gilbert and Eliza- 
beth (Lee) Martin, both natives of Washington county, Indiana, the former 
of whom died in 1869 and the latter of whom is still living, being now past 
eighty years of age. 

Gilbert Martin, member of one of the pioneer families of southern 
Indiana, grew up on a farm in Washington county, that state, and was mar- 
ried there, shortly after which he moved to Illinois and bought a farm in 
Hancock county, where he spent the remainder of his life, being engaged 
in the nursery and live-stock business. In 1863 he volunteered his services 
as a soldier in the Civil War, enlisting in an Illinois regiment, but was taken 
ill and three weeks later was honorably discharged on a physician's cer- 



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iyj RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

tilicate of disability. He was a Whig and later a Republican and he and his 
wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which faith their 
children were reared. Gilbert Martin died in December, 1869, at the age 
of thirty-six years, and his widow never remarried. In 1912 she sold her 
farm in Hancock county, Illinois, and moved to the city of Quincy, same 
state, where she is now living in a ripe old age. The Widow Martin was 
born in Washington county, Indiana, in 1835, daughter of Richard Henry 
Lee and wife, Virginians, and early settlers in southern Indiana, the former 
of whom was a member of the famous Lee family of Virginia. Gilbert 
Martin and wife were the parents of seven children, namely: Mrs. Emma 
Crawford, who lives at West Point, Illinois; Frank L., the immediate sub- 
ject of this biographical sketch; Gilbert L. and Granderson, twins, the 
former of whom is deceased and the latter a resident of West Point, Illi- 
nois; James L., a well-known farmer of Reno township, this county; D. 
Herbert, manager of the bond department of the Fidelity Trust Company at 
Kansas City, Missouri, and Mrs. Elizabeth Randall, who died in Thomas 
county, this state. 

Frank L. Martin grew up on the paternal farm in Hancock county, 
Illinois, attending the district school in the neighborhood of his home dur- 
ing the winters, the term in the same consisting of from sixty days to three 
months. At eighteen years of age, when he entered the high school at 
Bowen, the neightoring village, he realized that he had spent far more time 
playing and having a good time at school than he had devoted to his books, 
for he found himself in a class with youngsters of from twelve to thirteen 
years of age, who were far more advanced in their studies than he. Recog- 
nizing the need of diligence in his studies, he buckled down to the task and 
presently passed th^ examination for teachers and was licensed as a teacher 
in the public schools. For five years thereafter he taught school, the last 
year of this form of service, 1884-85, having been engaged as principal of 
the schools at Dallas City, Illinois. In the meantime, during the evenings 
while engaged as a teacher and during the summer vacations, Mr. Martin 
had l)een diligently applying himself to the reading of law in the office of 
Sharp & Berry Brothers at Carthage, Illinois, and was admitted to tlie bar 
on May 22, 1885, immediately following the close of his last term of school. 
Thus equipped for the practice of the profession to which he had devoted 
his life, Mr. Martin straightway came to Kansas, arriving in Hutchinson 
on June i, 1885, and has since then made his home in that city, long having 
been recognized as one of the leaders of the bar, not only there, but through- 
out this entire section of the state. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 333 

For the first three months after locating at Hutchinson, Mr. Martin 
occupied a desk in the office of Ricksecker & Chrisnian, lawyers, and then 
he became the junior meml>er of the firm of Scheble, Vandeveer & Martin. 
Three months later Mr. Scheble died and the firm continued as Vandeveer 
& Martin. In 1887 Mr. Martin married his partner's sister, the mutually 
agreeable partnership between the two men thus becoming more firmly 
cemented, Vandeveer & Martin continuing in practice together very suc- 
cessfully until 189 1, in which year Judge Vandeveer moved to Kansas City, 
after which Mr. Martin formed a new connection and was a member of 
the firm of Swigart, Martin & Crawford until he resigned from the firm 
on January i, 1892, to enter upon the duties of judge of the district court 
for the ninth Kansas judicial district, to which office he had been elected at 
the preceding general election. For four years Judge Martin occupied the 
bench of the district court and was re-elected, but after serving one year of 
his second term resigned in order to re-enter the practice of the law, the 
latter form of Service offering a far more lucrative field than the bench. 
Judge Martin then formed a partnership with John W. Roberts, imder the 
firm name of Martin & Roberts, which was continued until in May, 1900, 
when Mr. Roberts moved to Seattle, Washington. About that time George 
A. Vandeveer returned to Hutchinson from New York City, where he had 
been serving as chief counsel for the National Surety Company, having gone 
from Kansas City to New York, and the old and profitable alliance of 
Vandeveer & Martin was renewed and continued until Judge Vandeveer's 
death on August 3, 1907. Judge Martin then continued his practice alone 
until in July, 19 12, at which time he associated with himself in the practice 
of the law his son, Van Martin, then just home from law school with a well- 
earned diploma, and since then the firm has been Martin & Martin. In 
1914 Judge Martin was admitted to practice in the United States supreme 
court. He has been engaged in some of the most noted lawsuits tried in the 
courts of this part of Kansas and has a wide reputation as a practitioner 
throughout the state. 

During his many years of practice at Hutchinson, Judge Martin has 
been one of the most active participants in the political affairs of the county 
of any man hereabout. An ardent Republican, he ever has been a leader 
in the councils of that party in this county and in 1891 was chairman of the 
convention that met to nominate a candidate of the Republican party for 
the office of district judge. For two days and two nights the convention 
was in deadlock. It then becoming apparent that the deadlock could not be 
broken, the several aspirants for the noinination agreed to the selection of 



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334 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

three men, one of whom should be made the nominee of the convention. 
Under this arrangement, F. F. Prigg, of Hutchinson, received the nomina- 
tion, but he declined to accept and the convention was thereupon adjourned 
to meet at Burton on September 31, following, the nomination going to Mr. 
Martin in this latter convention. Never was a more strenuous or effective 
campaign made in this district than that which followed his nomination and, 
despite the fact that the Populists carried the state and local ticket that year, 
Mr. Martin was elected by a plurality of three hundred and ninety-six votes 
and was re-elected in the election of 1895. ^^ ^Q^i Judge Martin was 
elected mayor of the city of Hutchinson on a platform promising that the 
at that time having been for some time heavily discounted in the banks. 
This platform was so rigidly adhered to during the administration of Mayor 
Martin that city orders were restored to par, and the city restored to its 
former sound financial rating. Such a course not unnaturally aroused much 
opposition in certain quarters and Mayor Martin was defeated for the 
nomination in 1903, but in 1909 he was again nominated and elected. The 
city in the meanwhile had voted to adopt a commission form of government 
and it fell to Mayor Martin's lot to organize the functions of local govern- 
ment along these new lines. In the interim between his terms of office the 
city again had reverted to the old slipshod methods of government and city 
orders again were away below par. Mayor Martin's personal influence, 
backed by his known financial stability, proved sufficient guaranty with the 
banks of the city and funds were advanced with which to run the city 
government for a period of nine months, by which time the mayor again 
had restored the city's credit. Under the commission form of government 
the term of mayor was fixed at three years, and after Mayor Martin had 
Swrved one year of that term the city, by reason of growth of population, 
had passed from the status of a city of the third class to a city of the second 
class and it became necessary to hold a new election and Mayor Martin 
declined to stand for re-election. In 1914 Judge Martin was elected repre- 
sentative in the Legislature, from the seventy-fifth legislative district and his 
services in the lower house of the General Assembly proved valuable to his 
district and to the state at large. 

In addition to his extensive practice and the performance of his official 
duties, as the latter would arise, Judge Martin is a farmer of no mean 
ability, being particularly well known hereabout as an apple grower, his fine 
orchards on his model **Riversbanks Plantation'' northeast of Hutchinson, 
in Clay township, being his particular pride and joy. This fine plantation 
takes its name from its original owner, Rivers Banks, a Kentuckian, who 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 335 

homesteaded that tract in pioneer days. Judge Martin has owned the place 
since 1902 and has given his orchards. a great deal of thoughtful attention, 
his profit on his apples alone last year having been more than his original 
investment in the place. He has added to his original tract until he now 
owns four hundred acres in Clay, and Medora townships, of which one hun- 
dred and ten acres are planted in orchards, in addition to which he is the 
owner of a fifteen-hundred-acre ranch in Hayes township, stocked with fine 
cattle. 

On June 29, 1887, Frank L. Martin was united in marriage to Nellie 
Vandeveer, of Hutchinson, who was born in the town of. Pana, in Christian 
county, Illinois, daughter of Aaron and Sarah (McWilliams) Vandeveer, 
both natives of Illinois. Aaron Vandeveer was a farmer and stockman, the 
owner of about five hundred acres of land, who moved to Pana in order to 
secure to his younger children the advantage of the schools and there he 
and his wife spent their last days, his death occurring when he was fifty- 
six years old and hers in 1903, she then being seventy years of age. They 
were the parents of ten children, four of whom grew to maturity, as follow : 
George A., for years a prominent attorney at Hutchinson, former law part- 
ner of Judge Martin, who died in 1907; Amanda, who married E. N. Mex- 
field, a hotel proprietor at Great Bend, this state; Nellie, who married Judge 
Martin, and Calvin B., who lives at Ashland, this state. 

To Frank L. and Nellie (Vandeveer) Martin five children have been 
bom, namely: Van M., born on September i, 1888, who after his gradua- 
tion from the Hutchinson high school attended the Salt City Business Col- 
lege and then entered the Kansas State University, from the law depart- 
ment of which he was graduated in 191 2, since which time he has been 
practicing law as a partner of his father, under the firm name of Martin & 
Martin; Elizabeth, October 15, 1893, ^ho married James Farley and lives 
in Hutchinson; John Morrill, September 16, 1894, who after three years 
at the State University of Kansas is now (1915) a senior in the Washing- 
ton State University; Clara, October 16, 1897, and Franklin L., March 12, 
^9^i' Jwdge and Mrs. Martin are members of the First Presb3^erian church 
and are among the leaders in all good works hereabout, they and their 
family being held in the highest esteem. Judge Martin is a member of the 
Kansas State Bar Association and of the American Bar Association, in the 
deliljerations of which he takes an active interest and occupies a high place 
in the regard of his associates at the bar. He is a member of the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen and takes a warm interest in the aflfairs of that 
organization. 



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336 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

WILLIAM HODGSON. 

William Hodgson is a native of Cumberland county, England, where 
he was born on December 25, 1842. He is the son of Hetherington and 
Rebecca (Smithson) Hodgson, both of whom were also natives of Cumber- 
land county, England. It may be stated in connection with the name Smith- 
son, that the first cousin of Mrs. Hodgson was the founder of the Smithsonian 
Institute, of Washington, D. C. 

Hetherington Hodgson was known in the county in which he was born, 
as a master moulder in the "iron county" of England. He worked at his 
chosen trade imtil 1837, when with his family he came to this country and 
settled in Taunton, Bristol county, Massachusetts, where he continued to work 
along the lines of his trade until 1857, when he moved to Steele county, 
Minnesota, where on a homestead in Deerfield township, he engaged in the 
occupation of farming. This pursuit proved to be unprofitable, owing to 
the conditions of that locality and period, and Mr. Hodgson anticipating a 
probable financial crisis, decided to turn his attention to another field of 
activity and spent two years traveling through the West and the Northwest. 
During that time he established a number of foundries, the one at St. Paul 
being the first foundry established north of Dubuque. Along the Mississippi 
river as far as St. Paul he put up a number of moulding shops, from which 
he received good wages. Mr. Hodgson passed away in 1877 at the age of 
seventy-four years. His wife died in 1861 at the age of sixty-three. The 
couple attended the Universalist church, but were "free thinkers." Mrs. 
Hodgson was a woman of broad education and for eleven years preceding 
her marriage taught in the public schools of England. Mr. Hodgson was a 
descendant of one of the most patriotic as well as notable families of Eng- 
land. His uncle, Captain Hodgson, was prominent in the Indian Mutiny, 
and during an uprising in India, he shot the Rajah of Ben^l and also his 
heir, and thus owing to the fatalistic belief of Hinduism, put an end to the 
mutiny. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hetherington Hodgson were the parents of the following 
children : Richard, who became a prominent physician of Stoneham, Massa- 
chusetts, died at the age of seventy- four years; Elizabeth, who became the 
wife of Ezra Crandall, lived for a number of years in Steele county, Minne- 
rf^otP, where her death took place; William, the subject of this sketch; Jennie, 
who was the first school teacher in Reno county, Kansas, died in IQ03 ; Heth- 
erington, known as Harry, who was clerk of the first court of Reno county 



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/^^^/^^/^^^^ 



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MRS. WILLIAM HODGSON 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 337 

by appointment arid later elected to the same office, was identified with stock 
raising mitil the time of his death which he met in a train wreck near BiUirigs, 
Montana; Thomas, who resides in Middleboro, Massachiisetts, is k Well- 
known physician, and formerly lived in Reno county, Kansas, where he 
homesteaded a tract of land for his medical college funds and which he 
later sold to his brother William; Mary became the wife of W. J. Sponsler, 
of Hutchinson, and Sarah, the youngest of the family, died at the age of 
twenty-two, on the farm in Reno county. 

When William Hodgson was two or three years old his parents moved 
from England to Massachusetts and later to Minnesota, where after obtain- 
ing a meager education, William Hodgson went to work with his father on 
the homestead. His brothers each received the advantages of a liberal edu- 
cation but William was content to gain his experiences through contact with 
the problems of farm life. 

On October i, 1861, William Hodgson enlisted in Company E, Fourth 
Regiment, Minnesota Volimteer Infantry, at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, and 
-became color sergeant of the regiment. He fought under General Grant at 
the battle of Shiloh, and had numerous thrilling experiences. The first 
important battle in which the subject of this sketch took part was at luka, 
Mississippi, September 19, 1862, this was followed by an overland expedi- 
tion which had for its object the capture of Vicksburg. On March i, 1863, 
Mr. Hodgson's regiment left Memphis with the Ross and Buford brigades 
on the historic expedition to Yazoo Pass. A squad of cavalry with the 
assistance of two gunboats and the ram "Indianola'' cut the levee on the 
Mississippi side, just below Helena, Arkansas, from which point the expe- 
dition was sent later, to form part of the army which captured Vicksburg. 
During the campaign the regiment took part in the battles of Port Gibson, 
Forty Springs, Jackson and Champion's Hill. In a charge at Vicksburg, 
Company E w-as seriously crippled, Mr. HodgscTn and one comrade being 
the only members who were able to reach an advanced point in the forward 
movement. At Vicksburg the Fourth Minnesota was held in reserve, but 
seizing a chance to take his musket, the subject of this sketch joined the 
attacking force, and had scarcely pulled down the heavy visor of his cap 
when he received a wound in the forehead which rendered him unconscious 
for two hours. His skull was slightly fractured, but after he regained con- 
sciousness he again took part in the battle and after the middle of night he 
was taken from the field, having first been passed by the relief assistants as 
dead. After his recovery from the effects of the wound, Mr. Hodgson left 
(22a) 



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338 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

with the members of his regiment for a four-hundred-mile march from Mem- 
phis across the mountains to relieve General Thomas, who was shut up in 
Chattanooga, besieged by the Confederate General Pemberton. On this 
march the army suffered some of its greatest losses, but was rewarded in the 
end by the capture of one hundred and sixty-nine prisoners. 

On March 20, 1864, Mr. Hodgson was granted a veteran furlough of 
thirty days and upon his return to the service fought under General Sherman 
on the march to the sea until the fall of Savannah. He also had part in the 
final movement which resulted in Johnston's surrender, and took part in the 
Grand Review which was held in Washington. At the fall of Savannah the 
Fourth Minnesota was the first in line in Sherman's army to enter the city, 
and was led by the subject of this sketch as color bearer of his regiment. Mr. 
Hodgson was mustered out of service on July 19, 1865. He participated in 
twenty-three battles, of which the one at Alatoona Heights, Georgia, seemed 
to him the most severe. 

At the close of the war the subject of this sketch returned to his home 
in Minnesota, where, on the 8th of November, 1865, he was united in mar- 
riage to Ellen Ware, a native of New York, and the daughter of Rev. 
Thomas Ware, a Methodist minister, and Sophia (Mixer) Ware, both of 
whom were pioneers of Steele county, Minnesota. Mr. Ware died in 1884, 
and his wife, who was born in 18 19, passed away in 1896. 

In 1866, Mr. Hodgson bought the farm owned by his father-in-law and 
followed the occupation of farming for a year, when he decided to sell out 
owing to the severe winters experienced in that locality. He bought forty 
acres of land in Jasper county, Missouri, where he farmed until 1873, when 
on the 14th of April he made his initial appearance in Hutchinson, Reno 
county, Kansas. In Reno county his two bi:others, Harry and Thomas, and 
two sisters, Jennie and Mary, had built a house on the corner of four quarter 
sections of land, where they had taken up a homestead claim on a full sec- 
tion, or one square mile, in section 20, township 23, range 6 west. The 
subject of this sketch bought out the interests of his two brothers in Reno 
county, and still lives on the land purchased at that time, where he is known 
as the oldest living settler in that part of the county. 

In political affairs the subject of this sketch has always taken an active 
part in Republican activities, and for one year was township trustee, and for 
thirty years a member of the school board. In his religious belief he is a 
Spiritualist. Mrs. Hodgson died on May 5, 1906, at the age of sixty-three 
years, after rearing a family of the following children : Minnie Rebecca, the 
wife of Charles Theiss and a resident of Clay township, Reno county; Alice 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 339 

and Ella, who died when children ; 5^dward, a physician at Stoneham, Massa- 
chusetts ; Herbert Clarence, of whom an account is given on another page of 
this volume, and William L,, a farmer of Reno township, also mentioned 
elsewhere in this work. 

Mr. Hodgson has kept up a lively interest in the affairs of the Grand 
Army of the Republic. He joined the organization at the time when the 
nembers were authorized to watch the movements of the Klu Klux Klan, and 
is a charter member of the Joe Hooker Post, at Hutchinson, Kansas. 



ARTHUR F. PETERSON. 

Arthur F. Peterson is a descendant of two families of Sweden. He 
was bom on January 23, 1879, in Clay township, Reno county, Kansas. 
His father was Allman Peterson, who was a native of Elmhult, in the 
central and most fertile region of Sweden. He was born there on Febru- 
ary 8, 1849. When he reached the age of twenty-two years he took pas- 
sage on a ship bound for America, determined to carve out his fortune in 
the New World. On the same vessel was Swan Eskelson and his wife 
with part of their family, one of whom, their daughter, Christine, was the 
future wife of the young emigrant. She was born on January 9, 1851. 
They all arrived in Topeka, Kansas, and in the same year, 1871, Allman 
Peterson went on to Newton, where the Santa Fe railroad terminus was at 
that time. He was for five years a foreman at the round-house there, but 
at the end of that i>eriod he purchased eighty acres of railroad land in Clay 
township. Reno county, it being the west half of the southeast quarter of 
section 15, township 23, range 5 west. He later bought forty acres more 
and on his property built a small shack, which, on being burned, was re- 
placed by another more pretentious. In 191 3 he and his family left the 
farm for a residence in Hutchinson and there, on July 4, 191 5, Allman Pet- 
erson was found dead in bed of heart trouble. His wife had preceded him, 
December 2, 1909. They were both Lutherans and he was, in politics, a 
Democrat. He was noted for his success in stock raising. Their family 
consisted of Agnetta, the wife of J. F. Dodge, stock raiser of Lamed, Kan- 
sas; Oscar A., born on November 7, 1876, who married Mary Elizabeth 
Penney, and resides on a farm in Clay township ; Arthur F. ; Anton, who 
is unmarried and a broken of Hutchinson; Hilma, the wnfe of R. D. Scher- 
merhom, of Hutchinson. 



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340 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Arthur F. Peterson received his education in the Okee district school 
of Clay township, and in the Kansas State Normal. After working on the 
farm for his father until 1906 he was first cashier and later claim agent of 
the Wells- Fargo Express Company at Hutchinson. In 1907 he and Fred 
Forsha formed a partnership in the brokerage business. Two years later, 
Mr. Forsha retired and the Peterson Brokerage Company was formed, with 
Arthur P. and Anton as partners. Besides handling flour and all kinds of 
merchandise they were agents for Armour & Company. In June, 1914, 
Anton Peterson took entire charge of the business and Arthur F. moved to 
his father's farm. He is at present renting the farm of the heirs and car- 
ries on general farming there. In 1913 he sold his interest in the two hun- 
dred and forty acres in section 13, Clay township, which they had jointly 
purchased in 1902, to his brother, Oscar A. 

Perhaps his greatest interest lies in raising and training race horses. 
He has owned the horse, ''Liberty Bird," by "J^iil Bird," eight of whose 
colts have been noted for speed. Mr. Peterson has raised some very fine 
horses, not the least noted of which is "Silver Key," a pacer, with a 2:13^4 
record. He has been driven and raced by Mr, Peterson's brother in Kansas, 
Oklahoma and Missouri. On the Peterson farm at present are some splen- 
did colts with si>eed prospects. 

On October 30, 19 12, the marriage of Mr. Peterson to Lena Tellin 
took place in Hutchinson, Kansas. Her parents are Peter and Emma Tellin, 
of Hutchinson. Mr. Tellin has a long and useful record with the Santa 
Fe railroad, having served that company for forty years, beginning when 
its western terminus was Topeka. He is retired from active service on a 
pension. He has a ranch at Greenwood. To Mr. and Mrs. Peterson has 
been lx>rn one child, Jean, bom on December 11, 1913. 

Mr. Peterson is a member of the Masonic lodge, the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks and the United Commercial Travelers. 



CHARLES PETERSON. 



Charles Peterson, son of Carl and Catherine (EHerson) Peterson, was 
born in Sniolen, Sweden, June 12, 1868. His father is a native of that 
same place, the elate of his birth l>eing April 10, 1836. He came to York- 
town, Indiana, in 1870, and later lived in Tippecanoe and Clinton coun- 
ties, Indiana, where he engaged in farming and stock raising until March 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 34 1 

I. 1875, when he removed to McPherson county, Kansas, and homesteaded 
eighty acres of land. In 1892 or 1893 he moved to Marquette, Kansas, 
and died there in October, 1909. He served for some time as a soldier in 
the army of Sweden before coming to America. He followed the occu- 
pation of a farmer. in his native country. At the time of his death he was 
an active member of the Methodist church. 

Mr. Peterson's mother was also a native of Smolen, Sweden. She 
was bom on May 9, 1834, and came wath her children to join her husband, 
who had preceded her, to Yorktown, Indiana, in July, 1871. She is still 
living at Marquette, Kansas, where she is an active member of the Meth- 
odist church. 

The brothers and sisters of Charles Peterson are: Martha, born in 
Sweden. June 13, 1857, married James K. Stinson, wh6 is at present the 
postmaster at Marquette, Kansas ; J. Gust, bom in Sweden, September, 
1863, is a farmer and stock raiser in McPherson county, Kansas; Emma C. 
born in Sweden, May i, 1865, married Frank Elmquist, a farmer and stock 
raiser in McPherson county; Josephine, bom in Sweden, March 12, 1867, 
married Adolph Hawkinson, a farmer and stock raiser in McPherson 
county; Ernest W., born in Yorktown, Indiana, July 6, 1871, is a dentist 
and has been in the practice of his profession at Kansas City, Missouri, for 
twenty years; Frank, born in Yorktown, February 8, 1873, ^s a farmer 
and stock raiser in McPherson county, and is the organizer of the Farmers 
Union in that county; Jennie E., born in Yorktown, September 12, 1874, 
married William Westling, who has a general store at Marquette, Kansas ; 
George H., bom in McPherson county, Kansas, September 6, 1877, is a 
farmer and stock raiser in Ellsworth county, Kansas. 

Charles Peterson was educated in the district schools of McPherson 
county, Kansas, and attended one term of normal school at Salina, Kansas. 
After leaving school he engaged in farming in McPherson county until 
1901, when he took a position as clerk in the hardware store of T. J. Col- 
lier, at Marquette, Kansas, where he remained for two years. He then 
turned his attention to the real estate and insurance business in that town 
until IQ07, when he removed to Hutchinsqn, where he hats continued in the 
same line of business to the present time, with offices at 16J/2 North Main 
street. His fraternal association is with the Modern Woodmen of America, 
and he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Hutchinson. He 
is not allied with any political party, using his own judgment as to the 
fitness of candidates for whom he casts his vote. 

On September 16, 1894, Charles Peterson was united in marriage to 



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342 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Margaret E. Young, who was born at Delhi, Delaware county, New York, 
daughter of Stewart M. and Elizabeth (Dodds) Young, the former of 
whom was born on February i6, 1836, in Scotland, and the latter on 
December 2-^, 1837, in Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Young are still living in 
Topeka, Kansas. They are the parents of the following children: Sheldon 
T., bom on September 20, 1866, died on September 16, 1871 ; William D., 
April 17, 1868, a miner, married Alice Turney, of Cripple Creek, Colorado; 
Margaret Elizabeth, January 26, 1870, wife of the subject of this sketch; 
Robert S., February 11, 1872, married May G. Miner, of Salina, Kansas, 
December 25, 1898, died on July 7, 1909, leaving his wife and two daugh- 
ters, Faye and Vera Roberta; Harriet D., February 20, 1874, married W. 
H. Carpenter, of Salina, Kansas. November 9, 1898, and Mr. Carpenter is 
now proprietor oT the Vallejo hotel, Denver, Colorado; Emma J., May 10, 
1876, a milliner for fifteen years, died in Denver, Colorado, September 11, 
191 1 ; Stewart M., Jr., April 24, 1878, married Blanche Garrell, of Dodge 
City, Kansas, is general manager of the Equitable Life Insurance Company 
at Wichita, Kansas: James M., October 6, 1881, salesman for Armour & 
Company, at Denver, Colorado; George A., August i, 1885, died on Sep- 
tember 9, 1890. 



JOHx\ D. KAUTZER. 



John D. Kautzer, son of Thomas and Josephine Kautzer, was bom in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 17, 1870. His paternal grandfather, 
Henry Kautzer, and wife, Helen, were both natives of Germany, who emi- 
grated to America in an early day, bringing with them their sons, Joseph, 
John and Matthew. Thomas and Anton, two other sons, arrived later. 
The family settled in Manitowoc county, Wisconsin, where the father home- 
steaded timber land and built a rude log cabin, and there the family lived in 
true pioneer style. Henry Kautzer died there in 1886, at the age of sixty- 
seven years. His two sons, Matthew and Thomas, died at about the same 
time. 

Thomas Kautzer came to America in 1865. He was a soldier in his 
native country, and a saddleman by trade. While serving in the German 
army he lost the little finger of his left hand by a gun shot. After coming 
to America he located first in Milwaukee, but later lived in Manitowoc and 
in Eaton in the same county. He was a Catholic in religious faith, and 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 343 

his children are as follow: Frank, Edward, John, Henry, Phena, Anna, 
Joseph, Mary and Elizabeth. 

John D. Kautzer received his education in the schools of Manitowoc 
county and after attaining mature years lived in Oshkosh three years, where 
he was employed by a street car company. In 1902 he joined his wife's 
relatives in Reno county, Kansas. He rented a farm nine years from his 
father-in-law ; Muring these years he bought one hundred and sixty acres in 
Albion township, the old Copper farm, which he sold two years later. Four 
years ago he purchased his present farm, on which he does general farming 
and stock raising, making a specialty of Hereford cattle and Duroc- Jersey 
hogs. He has placed many improvements on his farm, and in 19 15 erected 
a large and commodious barn, forty by fifty-two feet in dimensions, also 
bought a Reo car and built a garage. In 19 16 he built a fine modern home 
with all conveniences. 

On January 2^, 1896, John D. Kautzer was married to Rose Pargeter, 
who was born on August 15, 1869, at Stoughton, Wisconsin. Mrs. Kaut- 
zer's father, Thomas Pargeter, was bom on February 4, 1827, at Hook 
Norton, Oxfordshire, England. He married Ellen Durnford, who was born 
at Birmingham, England, January 31, 1831, and died on January 12, 1907. 
Thomas Pargeter was a son of John Pargeter, a native of England. His 
wife was Hannah Lyzard. John Pargeter was a day laborer in England, 
his parents having died when he was quite young. • The family were 
adherents of the Church of England. Thomas Pargeter came to America in 
1869 and located at Stoughton, Wisconsin, where he had friends. In 1884 
he moved from Wisconsin to Reno county, Kansas, where he purchased a 
half section of railway land, paying four dollars an acre for same. While 
actively farming he had two sections of land imder his control, rent free. 
His children are as follow: William George, Ethel, Fred and Harry, all 
bom in England; Rose Ellen, Louise, Lillie May and John, born in this 
country. Lillie May is deceased; Jane died in England, and Thomas died 
in Wisconsin, at Stoughton. 

J. D. Kautzer and wife are the parents of five children: Lillian, bom 
on May 12, 1898; Dwight T., March 16, 1903; Lester, October 20, 1904; 
Kenneth D., Septemter 13, 1908; Harry P., April 28, 1913, all of whom are 
living at home with their parents. Mildred L., bom on October 14, 1901, 
died on March 19, 19 10. The family are members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church at Pretty Prairie, where Mr. Kautzer's daughter, Lillian, is 
pianist in the Sunday school. 

Mr. Kautzer is a Republican in politics, and takes an active interest in 



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344 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

all matters pertaining to the welfare and betterment of his home commun- 
ity. He is now serving as treasurer of Roscoe township. He is a member 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while his wife belongs to the 
Daughters of Rebekah. 



WALTER C. PEIRCE. 



Walter C. Peirce, fa'rmer and stockman, of Lincoln township, thia 
county, who has been a resident here since he was sixteen years old, is a 
native of Ohio, having been born in the city of Chillicothe, that state, on 
March i, 1865, son of E. B. and Ellen (Wallace) Peirce, both natives of 
Pennsylvania, the former born in Chester county, that state, and the latter, 
at Carlisle. Pennsylvania. E. B. Peirce was a Quaker in his religious belief. 

This Peirce family in America was founded by Caleb Peirce, an Eng- 
lish Quaker, who joined William Penn's colony in 1686, settling in Chester 
county, province of Pennsylvania, and there established his family. E. B. 
Peirce, a direct descendant of Caleb Peirce, was a son of Isaac Peirce, a 
gentleman of scholarly attainments, the author of the first encyclopedia ever 
printed in the United States, which he published in Philadelphia in 1816, 
under the name of "A Dictionary of Arts and Sciences." The publication, 
however, did not prove a financial success and the scholar turned his atten- 
tion to something more material, during the twenties operating a saw-mill 
in New York City. He was an ardent Abolitionist, and his home in New 
York City was a common meeting place for the leaders in that cause, John 
Greenleaf Whittier, tlie poet, being among those who were wont to gather 
at the Peirce home. In 1832 Isaac Peirce moved to Ohio, where he bought 
a farm in Stark county, and was engaged in fanning there the rest of his 
life. During the trying times preceding the Civil War his home was one 
of the most prominent "stations'' of the ^'underground railroad" for the 
transportation of fugitive slaves to the Canadian border, and he was one 
of the most active "conductors'" in that service. 

E. B. Peirce was eight years old when his parents moved from New 
York City to Ohio and he grew up on the home fann in Stark county. As 
a boy he had the privilege of riding on the first railroad train ever operated 
in the United States. During his youth he attended the original Spencerian 
College, conducted by Si)encer, the originator of the system of writing bear- 
ing his name, and for nine years was a teacher in the common schools of 



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WALTER C. PEIRCE AND FAMILY. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 345 

Ohio and Illinois. In. 1865 he conducted a book store at Chillicothe, Ohio. 
He married Ellen Wallace, daughter of John Wallace, at Martin's Ferry, 
Ohio. John Wallace was born in Philadelphia, rnember of an old family 
of that city. His mother, whose maiden name was.Margaret Painter, was 
living in Philadelphia when the British took that city during the Reyolu- 
tionary War, and the invading soldiers raided her home while she was 
baking bread, stealing the hot loaves from the oven, an act which aroused 
her indignation. John Wallace's father, William Wallace, w?is a ship car- 
penter and helped to build Commodore Perr/s fleet. He was a soldier in 
the Revolutionary War, enlisted on September 14, 1776 (Pennsylvania 
archives, volume 14, page 69) ; commissioned ensign on September 6, 1777 
(Pennsylvania archives, volume 14, page 91); commissioned lieutenant in 
Captain Gibbs' company (Pennsylvania archives, volume 14, page 104). 
William Wallace's father, Robert Wallace, was a patriot soldier during the 
Revolutionary War and was with General Washington's army at Valley 
Forge and at the battle of Trenton. Samuel Culbertson, another ancestor 
on the mother's side, was the colonel of a Pennsylvania regiment during the 
War of the Revolution, and was with Washington at the battle of Brandy- 
wine. He was commissioned colonel July 31, 1777 (Pennsylvania archives, 
volume 14, page 391.) 

John Wallace ran away from home when a boy and went to sea, join- 
ing the crew of a vessel bound for the West Indies, but it was not long 
before he found that the life of a sea-faring lad was not just what he had 
pictured it would be. The vessel had not proceeded far Avhen the brutal 
captain whaled young John with a rope's end, which effectually dampened 
the youth's ardor as a sailor and the lad slipped over the side of the vessel 
and swam several miles to the Virginia shore, where he presently landed, 
nearly dead, but thoroughly cured of his desire for a sailor's life. For 
some time thereafter John Wallace made his home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 
where he married Agnes Culbertson in 1825, later going to Martin's Ferry, 
Ohio, and again later to Harrisburg, where he spent the remainder of his 
life. He and his wife were Methodists, and active participants in the work 
of the ''underground railroad" thereabout during the days before the Ciyil 
War. They were the parents of three children, namely : William, who was 
a college classmate of James G. Blaine, was colonel of an Ohio regiment 
during the Civil. War and was brevetted brigadier-general; Ellen, who be- 
came the wife of Mr. Peirce, and Mrs. Rebecca Geiger, who settled at 
Topeka, this state, at an early date in the settlement of the capital city. 

Some time after the close of the Civil "War, E. B. Peirce moved with 



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346 • RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

his family from Chillicothe, Ohio, to Fayette county, Illinois, where he 
remained until 1881, in which year he came to Kansas, locating at Hutchin- 
son, this county. He traded for a piece of property in that city and engaged 
in the real-estate business here, being thus engaged until March i, 1886, at 
which time he purchased the northwest quarter of section 30, in Lincoln 
township, this county, and there established a new home, the farm at that 
time having been known as the old Captain Lacy place. Mr. Peirce lived 
only two years after entering into possession of the farm, his death occur- 
ring in 1888, at the age of sixty-four years. His widow survived him ten 
years, her death occurring in 1898, she then being sixty-six years of age. 
There were ten children born to E. B. Peirce and wife, of whom but five 
are now living, those besides the subject being as follow: Eugene, a den- 
tist at Denver, Colorado; Rebecca, who is a nurse; Ruth, a teacher, and 
Jennie, the wife of Charles I. Glass, of Kansas City, Missouri. 

Walter C. Peirce was but a child when his parents moved from Ohio 
to Illinois and was sixteen years of age when he came to this county with 
them. Upon locating in Hutchinson he entered the old Sherman street 
school, and upon completing the course there, taught school one term. In 
1886, he then being twenty-one years old, he moved with his parents to the 
Lincoln township farm and has lived there since. When his father died, 
two years after taking up his residence on the farm, Walter, then the eldest 
• child of the family who was at home, assumed general charge of the farm 
in his mother's behalf and upon her death, ten years later, bought the inter- 
ests of the other heirs and has since been the sole owner. He purchased a 
quarter section of land adjoining the home farm and now has a well-culti- 
vated and well-improved place of three hundred and twenty acres. In 
1905 he built a fine, modern country house on his place, the first house in 
that part of the county to be equipped with a hot-water heating system. 

On September 14, 1898, Walter C. Peirce was married to Mary Bart- 
hold, who was bom in Napoleon, Ohio, a daughter of John Barthold and 
wife, who, in 1886, came from Ohio to this county, settling on a farm in 
Center township, where lx)th are still living, and to this union four children 
have been born: Harry, born in ^899, who is now a student in the Kansas 
State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kansas; Charles, a twin brother 
of Harry, died in infancy; Frederick, bom in 1901, died at the age of seven 
years, and Walter, lx)rn in 1908. Mr. Peirce has been prominent in Pro- 
gressive politics in his community, and to educational matters he has given 
his particular attention and for eleven years has teen a director of the 
local school district. 




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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 347 

JACOB BOWER UPDEGROVE. 

Jacob Bower Updegrove, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Wal- 
nut township, this county, proprietor of a fine farm of four hundred acres 
surrounding his home, besides which he owns a ranch of se\^en hundred and 
twenty acres west of Dodge City, is a native of Pennsylvania, born on a 
farm in Berks county, that state, son of William S. and Elizabeth (Bower) 
Updegrove, both natives of that same state, of Pennsylvania-Dutch parent- 
age, who spent all their lives in eastern Pennsylvania. 

William S. Updegrove was the son of Jacob Updegrove and wife, the 
latter of whom was a Schaeffer, earnest members of the German Lutheran 
church, who spent all their lives in Berks county, the former of whom died 
in I&74, at the age of seventy-eight years. His widow lived to be eighty- 
nine years old. William S. Updegrove was taught in the local German 
sectarian schools and did not learn to read English until he was past fifty 
years of age, having had to rely upon German newspapers for his informa- 
tion regarding current events previous to that time. He was trained as a 
shoemaker and worked at that trade most all his life. His wife was a 
daughter of Jacob Bower, a small farmer in Berks county, Pennsylvania, 
who spent all his life in that county and who reared his family in the faith 
of the German Lutheran church. When well past middle age William S. 
Updegrove moved into the neighboring county of Montgomery, in Penn- 
sylvania, where he bought a fann of one hundred and thirty-one acres and 
there he spent the rest of his life, his death occurring in 1899, at the age of ' 
seventy-six years. His widow survived until May 20, 191 2, and she w^as 
ninety years of age at the time of her death. They were the parents of 
nine children, Mary Ellen, Francis B., Harris B., William, Jacob B., Susan, 
T. P., Sarah A. and U. G., all of whom are still living. 

Jacob B. Updegrove early determined that there were better oppor- 
tunities for a young man in the then new West than in his home country 
and when twenty-three years old, in the spring of 1878, he came to Kansas 
and began working as a farm hand in Reno county. He improved his oppor- 
tunities, awaited the proper time and on June 4, 1884, he then being twenty- 
nine years of age, bought the farm on which he is now living, in section 21, 
Walnut township, and set about developing and improving the same. Four 
years later he married and established his home on that place and there has 
lived ev'er since, continually improving and bettering his material condition 
until now he is the owner of a fine farm of four hundred acres surrounding 



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mn 



348 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



him home, besides which he is the owner of seven hundred and twenty acres 
west of Dodge City. In 1900 Mr. Uj)degrove built a fine new house on his 
place and the other improvements of the farm are in keeping with the same. 
In addition to his general farming he has gone in somewhat extensively for 
stock-raising and has done very well, long having been regarded as one of 
the most substantial farmers in his neighborhood. Mr. Updegrove has taken 
an active part in local civic affairs ; for five years was treasurer of the town- 
ship and is now a member of the township school board. 

It was on March i, 1888, that Jacob B. Updegrove was united in mar- 
riage to Barbara Schindler, who was bom in Adams county, Indiana, Aug- 
ust 19, 1855, daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Schlatter) Schindler, 
natives of Ciermany. who came to this country in 1852, landing in New 
York City, whence they proceeded to Indiana, joining a brother and sister 
who had preceded them as members of the Mennonite colony in Adams 
county, that state, both the Schlatters and the Schindlers having been mem- 
bers of that body of earnest religionists, and there both Daniel Schindler 
and his wife spent the rest of their lives, the latter dying in 1885, at the age 
of sixty- four years, and the former in 1896. To Mr. and Mrs. Updegrove 
three children have been bom, Eugene A., bom on December 14, 1888; 
Katie Elizabeth, August 30, 1890. who married J. L. Bennett, and Edna 
May, July 6. 1894, who married Earl Seybert. 



GEORGE W. HOSKINSON. 



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George W. Hoskinson, a well-known and well-to-do farmer and cattle- 
man of Valley township, this county, an honored veteran of the Civil War, 
and for years active in Reno county affairs, is a native of Ohio, having 
been born on a farm in Washington county, that state, August 26, 1847, 
son of George E. and Lucy ( Bosworth) Hoskinson, the former of whom 
was bom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the latter in the state of Ohio. 

As a young man, George W. Hoskinson settled in Washington county, 
•Ohio, where he married and for awhile made his home on a rented farm. 
Tn 1854 he moved with his family to Clark county, Missouri, where his 
wife died in 1856, leaving six children, namely: Sarah, who married 
Alexander Perdue and lives in San Bernardine county, California; Eunice, 
who married Edward Rockefeller and died at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1885; 
Ophelia, who married George Mackey and lives in Van Buren county, Iowa; 
George \\'., the subject of this biographical sketch, and Joseph, a well-known 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



349 



resident of Harvey county, this state, in which county he settled in 1877, 
and in whose home his father died in 1899, at the age of seventy-two years. 

George W. Hoskinson spent his youth on the farm and was a hard 
worker from the days of his boyhood. When the Civil War broke out he 
was living with his father on a farm in Lee county, Iowa, and though but 
sixteen years of age at the time, he enlisted, on February 12, 1863, in Com- 
pany L, First Iowa Cavalry, with which he served until the end of the 
war, seeing service in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. At the 
conclusion of his military service he returned to Lee county, Iowa, where 
he married in the spring of 1866 and rented a farm, on which he Hved until 
1876, in which year he and his family came to this state, settling in Harvey 
county. Mr. Hoskinson filed on an eighty-acre homestead in Lake town- 
ship, that county, but the next year he relinquished his claim to his brother, 
Joseph, and went to California, where he went into the business of driving 
artesian wells, remaining there nearly two years, during which time he put 
down forty-three such wells, making considerable money by his operations. 
In 1878 Mr. Hoskinson returned to Kansas and homesteaded a quarter 
section in Sumner county, where he lived for three years, at the end of 
which time he sold that place and came to Reno county and bought eighty 
acres in Valley township, establishing his home there. In 1881 he bought 
an **eighty" adjoining on the east and extended his operations in the cattle 
line, gradually adding to his farm until he became the owner of eight hun- 
dred acres of land and was regarded as one of the most extensive cattlemen 
in the county. In 1888 things began to "go bad" and Mr. Hoskinson lost 
thirteen thousand dollars in his cattle business. His creditors were lenient, 
however, and when his affairs were presently adjusted he had saved three 
hundred and twenty acres in section ii, where he now lives. In 1892 Mr. 
Hoskinson erected the present comfortable farm house. On March i, 1916, 
he moved to Burrton, where he is living retired. 

In the spring of 1866 George W. Hoskinson was united in marriage to 
Kleanor Hardy, who was born in Lee county, Iowa, daughter of John and 
Elizabeth Hardy, and to this union eight children were born, namely: 
George, a well-known farmer of Clay township, this county; Ella, who mar- 
ried Charles McElwain and lives on a farm adjoining that of her father; 
Charles, a Valley township farmer; Frank, salesman for the Maxwell Auto 
Company at Hutchinson, this county; Edward, unmarried, who continues 
to live at home and is managing his father's farm; Zula, who married 
William Collins; and May and Mabel, the former of whom married Henry 
Adams and lives at Burrton, and the latter of whom married Dennis Meyers 



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350 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

and lives in Valley township. The mother of these children died on Janu- 
ary 22, 1910, and Mr. Iloskinson married, secondly, December 7, 1912, 
Mrs. Minnie (McDonald) Wineman, who was born in Tennessee and who 
was living in Hutchinson at the time of her marriage to Mr. Hoskinson. 



SAMUEL McCOWAN. 



Samuel McCowan, one of the prominent and successful men of Reno 
county, bom in Ireland on July 12, 1837, the son of Robert and Elizabeth 
(Palmer) McCowan. Rol^ert McCowan was of Scotch descent, and Mrs. 
McCowan was English. Robert McCowan died when the son, Samuel, was 
but sixteen years of age, the mother having died some years before. The 
McCowans were farmers in their native country. They were members of 
the Presbyterian church and took much interest in all church work. 

To Robert and Elizabeth McCowan were born the following children: 
Roljert, deceased; Samuel, William and Elizabeth, all of whom came to 
* ^1 America. Elizabeth resides in Caledonia, New York ; Robert, William and 

Samuel came to Kansas. 

Samuel McCowan came to America in 1854 and located in the state 
of New York, where he engaged in fanning for one year, after which he 
was for five years in Canada, on a farm. He later removed to Warren 
county, Illinois, where he conducted a farm for twenty years before he 
came to Reno county. 

On January i, 1868, Samuel McCowan was united in marriage to 
Nancy A. McClellan, and to this union the following children were bom: 
Lizzie A., deceased, married Will Bramwell and had three children, Ethel, 
Cora and Lizzie; Virey married a Mr. Van Osdol and had one child, Mar- 
vin, and married, secondly, Roy Terrence; Jesse married Maud Shockley 
and'has five children, Maria, Alma, Ruby, Arthur and Morgan S. ; Wiley 
married Nellie Barton, who is now deceased, and they had four children, 
Ralph, Alvida, Fay and Nannie. All the children Hve in Reno county 
and vicinity. After the death of his first wife, Mr. McCowan was married, 
secondly, in 1885, to Sarah Haney, the daughter of Thomas Haney, a native 
of Ireland. 

Samuel McCowan has been engaged in farming the greater part of his 
life and now owns several lots and four and one-half acres of land in Pretty 
Prairie and one hundred and sixty acres of land in Roscoe township. He 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 35 1 

was for five years and two months a member of the Seventeenth Regiment, 
Illinois Vohinteer Infantry, and served during the Civil War. He was in 
many battles. 



EDWARD T. MARTIN.. 

Edward T. Martin, a well-known and progressive farmer and large 
landowner of Miami township, this county, is a native of Missouri, having 
been born in the town of Mexico, that state, May 8, 1875, son of Hugh and 
Ann (Bohen) Martin, both natives of County Galway, Ireland, who settled 
in Reno county during the first half of the eighth decade of the last century 
and became prominent and influential residents of Miami township. 

Hugh Martin, who was born in 1843, '^^^ ^^^ native home in Ireland 
and came to the United States in July, 1861. For a time he worked in the 
factories at Manchester, New Hampshire, and then went to Cincinnati, 
where he enlisted for service in behalf of the Union cause during the Civil 
War and served for ten months and four days on river gunboats, being 
mustered out at Cairo, Illinois. Upon the conclusion of his military exper- 
ience Mr. Martin made his home for a time in Illinois and then moved over 
into Missouri, where he lived until he came with his family to Reno county, 
in May, 1884. Upon settling here he pre-empted the northeast quarter of 
section 34, in Grove (now Miami) township, and established his home 
there. As he prospered in his farming operations he added to his land 
holdings by the purchase of an additional tract of three hundred and twenty 
acres and soon became regarded as one of the most substantial farmers of 
that neighborhood. Mr. Martin is a Democrat and ever since coming to 
this county has given a good citizen's attention to local politics. For more 
than a quarter of a century he has been treasurer of school district No. 
142 and in other ways has given of his service to the public. He is an 
earnest member of the Catholic church and has taken an active part in par- 
ish affairs. His wife died on Decmeber 2, 1899. They were the parents 
of six children, those besides the subject of this sketch being John, a prom- 
inent lawyer, of Pueblo, Colorado, who has served his district for two 
terms as a representative in the lower house of Congress; James, a locomo- 
tive engineer, of Moberly, Missouri; Hugh, a well-to-do farmer of Woods 
county, Oklahoma; Thomas, a locomotive engineer, of Pueblo, and Annie, 
who married Corb Carlisle, of Miami township, this county. 

Edward T. Martin was about nine years old when he came to Reno 



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352 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

county whh his patents and his schooling was completed in the schools of 
Miami township. He was reared on the farm and has been engaged in 
farming all his life and has done well, being now the owner of four hundred 
aicres in sections 22 and 33, in-^tanri township, where he makes his home, 
and where he and his family are vefy comfortably and pleasantly situated. 
Mr. Martin is a Democrat and has served the public as a member of his 
local school board. 

On February 19, 1899, Edward T. Martin was united in marriage to 
Hattie Gray, who was born in Cocke county, Tennessee, January 29, 1880, 
daughter of Lewis H. and Louvina (Click) Gray, who came to Kansas in 
1884 and settled in Miami township, this county, where the rest of their 
lives was spent. Upon coming to Reno county, Mr. Gray pre-empted a 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres and established a very comfortable 
home. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in the Union 
army as a member of Company D, Tenth Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, 
and for a time suffered imprisonment in Libby prison, the Confederate 
stronghold at Richmond. Mr. Gray died on August 8, 1899, and his widow 
survived for more than fifteen years, her death occurring on July 14, 191 5. 

To Edward T. and Hattie (Gray) Martin two children have been 
born, James L., born on May 22, 1900. and Ethel, April 25, 1902. Mr. 
Martin is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the consistory at 
Wichita, and is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, in the 
affairs of both of which organizations he takes a warm interest. 



CHARLES W. PECKHAM. 

Charles W. Peckman, president of the Farmers Grain Company of 
Haven, this county, one of the founders of that now thriving little city; for- 
mer vice-president of the Citizens Bank of Haven, first secretary of the 
Haven Commercial Club, one of the organizers of the Haven Mill Company, 
first trustee of Haven township, proprietor of "Gem Stock Farm'' and one 
of the real pioneers of Reno county, he having built the first sod shanty on 
the plain in what is now Haven township, his humble abode at that time 
having been the extreme western frontier of Reno county south of the 
Arkansas river, is a native of Ohio, having been born in the city of Maumee, 
Lucas county, that state, March 26, 1849, son of John D. and Alzina (Brush) 
Peckham, both natives of the state of New York. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 353 

John D. Peckham was born in Madison county, New York, in 1808, 
and was reared in that county, becoming a merchant tailor, and at Madison 
on May 16, 1833, married Alzina Brush, who was born in Spencertown, 
New York, September 12, 1809. The following year he and his wife moved 
to Matmiee, Ohio, where he opened a merchant-tailoring establishment and 
established his home. He and his wife were the parents of five children, 
namely: Frances, who married George Secor and is now living at Toledo, 
Ohio, past the age of eighty-two years; Lucinda, who died at the age of five 
years; George, who died in infancy; Cora, who married Charles Doesher 
and lives at Petaluma, California, and Charles W., the subject of this bio- 
graphical sketch. The mother of these children died at Springfield, Ohio, in 
1854, a victim of the cholera scourge which swept over that part of the coun- 
try in that year, and some time later John D. Peckham moved to Jackson, 
Michigan, where he engaged in the merchant-tailoring business and there he 
resided until his retirement from business in 1872, after which he made his 
home with his son, Charles W., in this county, his death occurring in 1884. 
He was a member of the Methodist church, to which his wife also had been 
attached, and for years was a singer in the choir. Originally a Whig, he 
became a Republican during the Civil War period, but later became affiliated 
with the Democratic party. 

Charles W. Peckham was five years old when his mother died and he 
was cared for in childhood by Mrs. Elizabeth Spencer, a widow who 
lived near Adrian, Michigan. Later he rejoined his father at Jackson, 
Michigan, and was educated in the schools, of that city, completing the 
course in the high school. In 1867 Mrs. Spencer married and moved 
to Lockport, New York. Later, Mr. Peckham was called to Lockport 
to teach a refractory country school. He "made good" and afterward 
attended Lockport high school. In 1869, following a resolution he had 
made in his boyhood, he came West and settled in Colorado county, 
Texas, where he conducted a subscription school for one year, after which 
he went onto a ranch and became an expert cowboy and very competent 
cattleman. In 187 1 he came through to Kansas with a herd of cattle des- 
tined for Abilene, and was so much pleased with the appearance of things 
in the Arkansas valley that he determined to locate here. In August of that 
year he homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 2, township 25, range 
4 west, in what is now Haven township, this county, two miles east of the 
present flourishing little city of Haven, and there built a sod shanty and 
entered upon the task of developing his claim. This shanty was twelve by 

(23a) 



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354 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

fourteen feet, inside measurement, with two windows and one door; was 
covered with boards hauled from Newton and was plastered on the inside 
with the clay from the well which he dug nearby. That was the first dwell- 
ing erected in what is now Haven township and marked the farthest western 
habitation in Reno county south of the river. Soon after the sod shanty 
was completed a party of Texas cattlemen came along with three thousand 
head of cattle and that fall and winter Mr. Peckham herded cattle for them. 
In 1872 he and Doctor Durand went over on the Ninnescah, where he lassoed 
twelve buffalo and captured them alive, two of the creatures being sent East 
to a circus in which a brother of Doctor Durand was associated. When a 
school was organized in district 39, Haven township, not long after he settled 
there, Mr. Peckham became the first school teacher and for four years was 
thus engaged. In 1873, when the Grange became organized in that section of 
the county, Mr. Peckham was elected first master of the same and in that 
capacity did much for the advancement of the interests of the early agricultur- 
ists and cattlemen, thereabout. 

Charles W. Peckham is the pioneer among the cattlemen of Reno coiuity, 
having ben the first man to feed cattle in any considerable quantity. Hutch- 
inson, the nearest grain market, was twenty miles away and Mr. Peckham 
early came to the conclusion that it would be far more profitable to feed the 
corn he raised on the ranch instead of hauling it to market. He now is the 
owner of three hundred and twenty acres of choice land, comprising **Gem 
Stock Farm,'' long regarded as a model place. The latest farm house on the 
place was erected in 1900, a large, modern frame house with a cupola and 
generous verandas. One of the features of the ranch is a reinforced con- 
crete silo, sixteen feet in diameter and fifty feet high, with a capacity of two 
hundred and twenty-five tons. Mr. Peckham made his home at "Gem Stock 
Farm" until 1909, in which year he moved to Haven, where he built a steel- 
framed, hollow-walled cement house, modern in every respect, generally 
regarded as the finest house in Haven, and there he since has made his home. 
Mr. Peckham has patented the process by which his house was constructed 
and the system of construction promises to become general and popular. 
The house has metal studding and lath. It is, of course, fire proof and the 
hollow walls are designed to render the house warm in winter and cool in 
summer. 

Charles W. Peckham is a Democrat and ever since locating in this county 
has taken an earnest interest in local politics. He was the first trustee of Haven 
township and in that official capacity was enabled to render valuable public 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 355 

service. In 1886 he was one of a committee of two appointed to go East to 
bring before capitalists the expediency of running the projected Wichita, 
Colorado & Western railroad, now a part of the Missouri Pacific system, 
through the town of Haven, he also having been a member of the original 
Haven Town Company, organized for the purpose of creating a town on the 
site selected, and the efforts of himself and his fellow committeemen proved 
effectual, the railroad presently connecting Haven with the outside world. 
Mr. Peckham was one of the prime promoters of the Citizens Bank of Haven, 
the first bank established in that town, and was elected vice-president of the 
same at the time of its organization. L. O. Smith, F. W. Ash and Mr. Peck- 
ham organized the Haven Milling Company in 1887 and erected the flour- 
mill at the new town, Mr. Peckham for three years being the active manager 
of the same. He was one of the organizers of the popular Farmers Grain 
Company of Haven, a concern which has done much to establish better prices 
for farm products in that neighborhood, and is now the president of the same. 
When the Haven Commercial Club was organized in 191 1 Mr. Peckham was 
elected secretary of the same and for three years served in that capacity, 
doing much in the way of giving the club a proper start. In other ways he 
has demonstrated his fine public spirit and occupies a very high place in finan- 
cial and commercial circles throughout this part of the state. 

On February 19, 1874, Charles W. Peckham was united in marriage to 
Sarah C. Hess, who was born in Hartford City, Indiana, daughter of Abrani 
and Elizal>eth (Gadberry) Hess, both of whom died in Indiana, and to this 
union ten children have been born, as follow : John, who lives in Wichita, 
this state; Minnie, who married Everett Bishop, a farmer of Wauketa, Okla- 
homa; Bertha, who married Ralph Williams and is now mistress of the big 
house at "Gem Stock Farm;'' Arthur Leroy, who lives at Wichita; Cora, 
who married Guy Van Buren and lives on a farm two miles north of Haven ; 
Edward, a farmer, of Caldwell, this state; Ira, who lives near Burton, thi> 
state; I^ura, who married Guy Astle, a well-known merchant of Haven; 
Flora, who died on November 15, 1885, and Ella, who died on February 14, 
1900. Mr. and Mrs. Peckham are members of the Universalist church and 
Mr. Peckham is a member of the lodge of Ancient Order of United Work- 
men at Haven, in the affairs of which he takes a warm interest. 

In 1905, the national organizer of the American Society of Equity came 
to Kansas to instruct western farmers in an improved system for the market- 
ing of farm products. He soon came in contact with Mr. Peckham, who 
became impressed with the importance and feasibility of the plan. Together, 
they laid the plan of this great organization before the farmers and Kansas 



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3S6 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

soon took a front rank in the new organization. After the required number 
of local unions was formed, a state union was organized, and C. W. Peckham 
was elected state secretary. Senator L. P. King, of Winfield, was elected 
state president. Mr. Peckham gave much of his time for two years to the 
growth of the organization and attended its national conventions, and was 
tendered the presidency of the national organization, but declined to serve. 
Much good was accomplished, but the required cohesiveness among farmers 
was lacking, and the effort languishes. In June, 1907, the organization held 
a three days' session called the National Grain Growers Convention, at 
Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. J. A. Everitt. president and founder of the move- 
ment, was elected president of the convention. Upon taking the chair and 
making the opening address, he craved the privilege of nominating as secre- 
tary of the convention, one whom he assured them had, out of the twenty- 
three states represented, made the best record for his state. Mr. Peckham 
was elected secretary of the convention. 

Charles W. Peckham has one accomplishment regarding which he is 
accustomed to speak somewhat self-deprecatingly, but regarding which is 
friends are in no doubt whatever, and that is his ability as a poet. When 
the members of the Reno County Old Settlers Association asked Mr. Peckham 
to prepare a poem relating to pioneer days, the same to be read at the next 
annual meeting of the association. Mr. Peckham rose to the occasion and 
the following production of his pen was warmly applauded : 

THE PIONEER 

Oh, how well do I remember 

WTieii our present work begun, 
And we settled here in Kansas — 

Pioneers of seventy-one. 

With our habitation finished, 

We began to till the sod; 
What the future held before us. 

No one knew except oitr God. 

How our house loomed up in mirage. 

At the rising of the sun ! 
How It spurred our every effort — 

Pioneers of seventy-one! 

How we broke the bucking broncho; 

How we tamed the Texas steers, 
Could not pass beyond our memory 

If we lived a thousand years. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 35/ 

Our meager stock of food stuff, 

Like the widow's cruse of oil. 
Would just sustain our bodies, 

In our constant round of toil. 

Oil, the taxes were prodigious! 

It would give your nerves a shock— 
We had no realty at that time; 

It was levied on our stock. 

The sheriff once made a visit, 

And I doubt his good intents; 
His milerge was sixteen dollars 

For a tax of fifty cents. 

I hadn't any money. 

And was also shy of brass; 
So, to save my scanty bacon, 

I hunted taller grass. 

One lesson was enough for me — 

I'd end the unequal strife — 
I'd profit by the exemption. 

And go hunting for a wife, 

The plan worked to perfection. 

I had often heard it said, 
That, "If man would bring the water, 

The wife would make the bread." 

At first we had to hustle 

To get our bread and meat; 
But now it's no use to rustle — 

We live on "Easy street." 

Then, ttere were those horrid 'hoppers; 

They would come and eat our crops — 
They would get as thick as coppers 

In a contribution box. 

They'd upset our calculations. 

They would eat up all we had; 
And we'd come out in the springtime 

Just as poor as any shad. 

But is was not all starvation. 

For, sometimes, we'd have a feast ; 
This was when we'd get a great big box 

From our friends, who lived down East. 

But at last things went to turning, 

And our blues were changed to mirth; 
And now the things we can produce. 

Are not equalled on this earth. 



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35^ RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Search the world for growing nature! 

Get earth's products where you can ! 
Kansas leads, In every feature! 

I can prove it, to a man! 

I've read how knights ahd cavaliers 

Sought for the golden fleece; 
Had they but come to Kansas, 
' They'd have settled down in peace. 

Those ancient, learned doctors, 
, Who were hunting fount of youth. 

Might have found it, here in Kansas, 
And that's the nalsed truth. 

No matter what you're hunting. 
Or of what you may be fond; 

You can find it here in Kansas; 
There's no use to go beyond. 

There was Mr. C. Columbus — 
He claimed to have found us; 

But that would not go in Kansas — 
Not without a dreadful fuss. 

No, we never stoop, or follow; 

And we do not lose a race; 
We are sure a hot tamale, 

And we always set the pace. 

You have read of Spanish conquests — 
How Balboa found the sea ; 

But he never did a thing in life. 
Compared to you and me. 

Instead of courting glory. 
With a cruel, loaded gun — 

He might have had some standing 
With pioneers of seventy-one. 

We came out here to Kansas; 

We opened wide the door ! 
We made two blades of grass to grow, 

Where one blade grew before! 

We've plowed up the desert, 
We've conquered its foes; 

Where the cactus once grew. 
Now blossoms the rose. 

We've brought the horseless" carriage. 
We've reared the telephone; 

We've schooled our sons ;uul daughters. 
Till they can go alone. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 359 

We've driven back th6 buffalo, 

We've framed a noble plan; 
Which gives a boy protection * 

Till he becomes a man. 

The bonds of our creation 

Always bring the highest rates; 
We're the grandest constellation 

In this galaxy of states. 

We've had the sockless Jerry, 

And we've had our Mary Lease; 
Carrie Nation swings her hatchet 

And declares that rum shall cease. 

We have captured Aguinaldo, 

And we've scaled old Pekln's wall; 
When it comes to nerve and daring — 

Then's when Kansas leads them all. 

For climate and for scenery, 

Like you read of on the Rhine; 
Come out here to sunny Kansas — 

This is where we always shine. 

With hearts full of gladness. 

No one need repent, 
That early toward Kansas 

His footsteps were bent. 

And now, my friends, we're coming 

To the parting of the ways; 
There'll be a time when you and I 

Win end these happy days. 

I*m sure I've no misgivings — 

No, I haven't a single fear; 
I know no evil can betide 

The honest pioneer. 

Another pronounced "hit'' made by Mr. Peckham in the poetic way was 
his famous onslaught on the '^trusts,'* first published in the Kansas Farmer, 
entitled : 

THE OCTOPXTS 

I've often read how Captain KIdd 

So gracefully his honors did. 

How merchant's gains and banker's wealth 

Were forced to help adorn his shelf. 

Ah, well for him he died In time, 

For now his fame would soon decline. 



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36o 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



I've also read how Robin Hood, 

Held court iu England's famous 'wood. 

He'd rob the rich to help the poor, 

No hungry man e'er left his door. 

He finally came to disgrace, 

His checks untaken at their face. 

Who has not read how privateers, 
Kept seamen filled with constant fears? 
Their flag was black, their hearts as well. 
They'd dare not do such deeds in hell. 
Who ever thought, in our fair land, 
Such deeds as theirs would ever stand? 

But now, we're seeing face to face, 

A game that throws them from the race. 

The grain combine, the packers' trust, 

Are forcing honest men to bust. 

Small merchant now must close his door. 

Because of the department store. 

The merchant now who deals in coal. 
Had better pack his grip and roll, 
Unless he's in the great combine, 
As merchant prince, he cannot shine. 
Alone he gains by little nips, 
Combined it comes in larger chips. 

You turn whichever way you will, 

Trusts there are large, and larger still. 

They're forcing man to come their way. 

To drop upon his knees and pay, 

A Moloch, of remorseless greed. 

How break their ranks, how slack their speed? 

But of all combines, grafts, or fakes, 
,The railroad combine takes the cakes. 
For all the lands that gave them start. 
They've never paid one million'th part. 
They shift their burdens, shun their taxes, 
Their grli^ on lucre ne'er relaxes. 

Since man began to let you live. 
You've made the map look like a sieve. 
You've run your lines in, out and down. 
With sidetracks broad in every town. 
Trains dash into our midst, pell-mell. 
With snorting whistle, clanging bell. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 361 

Through farmers' lands they build their tracks, 

They scare his cattle, burn his stacks. 

He had one farm, he's now got two, 

This credit all belongs to you. 

Of straight lines you were ever shy, 

His fields look like a piece of pie. 

You've peeled his bacon to the bone! 
He has to walk or stay at home. 
When he goes to town to pay his tax, 
He cannot ride, so walks your tracks. 
Not having eyes both sides his head. 
He's often now picked up quite dead. 

If he, perchance, must ship some stock, 
You straightway lay him on your block, 
You filch his sirloin, pouud his steak, 
Now on your gridiron he must bake. 
No thanks to him that he puts in, 
The largest part of all your "tin." 

You raise your rates, withdraw your passes, 

(Except to legislative asses) 

You lose much sleep to make your ends. 

You do not recognize your friends. 

You've kicked the tramp, and fired the bum. 

Until you think you're somewhat some. 

You play your game with loaded dice, 
You carry preachers at half the price. 
When gamblers fleece a nice fat duck. 
They hand him back a dime for luck. 
But you would throw him to the floor. 
And throttle him, and yell for more. 

If I was hunting for a jay. 

Who'd sell his soul for meager pa^, 

I'd flnd in you a willing tool, 

With conscience that befits a ghoul 

You bring bad liquor to our state. 

Your ticket reads '*To Brimstone Lake." 



CHARLES O. HITCHCOCK. 

Charles O. Hitchcock, a well-known and progressive merchant of Hutch- 
inson, this county, president of the Hutchinson Commercial Club and long 
recognized as one of the "live wires" in the commercial life of this com- 



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362 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

munity, is a native of Missouri, but has been a resident of Kansas ever since 
1888. He was born in St. Louis, April 6, 1871, son of Charles O. and Anna 
Virginia (Newcomer) Hitchcock, the former a native of Alabama and the 
latter of Maryland. 

The senior Charles O. Hitchcock was bom in the city of Mobile in 
1842 and when a young man went to St. Louis, where he presently married 
Anna Virginia Newcomer, who was bom in Hagerstown, Maryland, in 
1848 and who located in St. Louis with her parents when a girl. Charles O. 
Hitchcock became a commission merchant in St. Louis and was engaged in 
that business at the time of his death, in 1880, he then being thirty-eight 
years of age. His widow continues to make her home in St. Louis. She is 
the mother of two sons, the subject of this biographical sketch having a 
brother, Z. A. Hitchcock, who is assistant cashier of the Bank of Commerce 
at St. Louis. 

The junior Charles O. Hitchcock was about eight years of age when his 
father died. He received his education in the public schools of his native 
city and was graduated from the St. Louis high school in 1888, after which 
he went to Wichita, this state, in the neighborhood of which he began farm- 
ing. Starting in as a farmer on a rented farm, he presently bought a place 
of his own and was there engaged in farming for six years, at the end of 
which time he sold his place and entered the employ of an agricultural-im- 
plement firm at Wichita. That was in 1898 and he remained with that firm 
for ten years, during which time he became thoroughly familiar with the 
details of the implement business. In 1908 he transferred his services to the 
Hutchinson Implement Company, at Hutchinson, and became so deeply im- 
pressed with the possibilities of the business in this county that he opened up 
his business at his present site, 17-19 East Sherman street, which is a two- 
story building, fifty by one hundred and fifty feet, and carries all lines of 
farming implements, farm machinery, automobiles and fencing, his place 
being the largest of its kind in Hutchinson. Mr. Hitchcock takes an active 
part in the general commercial activities of his home town and is now the 
president of the Hutchinson Commercial Club, this being the fourth term he 
has served as head of that enterprising body, though not consecutive terms. 

On November 21, 1896^ Charles O. Hitchcock was united in marriage 
to Elizabeth D. Krack, who was born in Illinois, daughter of W. L. and F. D. 
Krack, who came to Kansas when their daughter, Elizabeth, was three 
years old, and who now live at Wichita, Mr. Krack being a w^ell-to-do re- 
tired farmer. To Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock two children have been bom. 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. 363 

Hazel, born in 1897, and Marion, 1899. Mr. Hitchcock is a thirty-second 
degree MasOn, a member of the consistory, Ancient x\ccepted Scottish Rite, 
Valley of Wichita, and is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective^ 
Order of Elks, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modem Wood- 
men and of the Hutchinson Country Club, in the affairs of all of which 
organizations he takes a warm interest. 



GEORGE T. GRAY. 



George T. Gray, an enterprising and progressive young merchant of 
Turon, this county, proprietor of an up-to-date furniture store at that place, 
is a Missourian by birth, but his home has been in Reno county since he 
was seven years old and he is a thorough-going Kansan., He was bom in 
Grundy county, Missouri, August 8, 1884, son of James and Emily J. 
(Allen) Gray, the former a native of that same county and the latter of 
Kentucky, she having been born in Jefferson county, near the city of Louis- 
ville. 

James Gray left his farm in Missouri in February, 1891, and with his 
family came to Kansas. He bought a farm of two htmdred and twenty 
acres in Miami township, this county, and made his home there until in 
October, 19x5, when he returned to Missouri and he and his wife are now 
making their home in Trenton, that state. James Gray, is a veteran of the 
Civil War, having done valiant service in behalf of the Union cause during 
the struggle between the states. During his residence in this county he 
served for some time as trustee of Miami township and also served on the 
school board. He is an ardent Republican, an Odd Fellow and a member 
of the Baptist church. To him and his wife seven children have been 
bom, those besides the subject of this sketch being as follow: Enos T., a 
farmer of Grundy county, Missouri; Edward S., a barber, of Turon, this 
county; Myrtle, deceased; I-aura B., who married D. D. Downing, general 
storekeeper for the Chicago & Alton railroad at Chicago; Henry W., a 
farmer, of Grundy county, Missouri, and Lora, who married B. Allison, a 
retired liveryman, of Hutchinson. 

George T. Gray was about seven years old when he came to this county 
with his parents and he was educated in the grade schools at Turon and 
the high school at Hutchinson. In jqgi, he then being: seventeen years of 



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364 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

age, he enlisted, at Wichita, for service in the United States army and for 
three years served as a non-commissioned officer in the First United States 
Cavalrj% during twenty-one months of which time he was stationed in the 
PhiHppines. He was mustered out at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, in 1904, 
after which he went to Kansas City, where for four years he was engaged 
in the service of the Adams Express Company. He then returned to this 
county and for five years was engaged as a clerk in the store of the Ander- 
son Furniture Company at Hutchinson, after which, in 19 13, he opened a 
furniture store of his own at Turon and has ever since been very success- 
fully engaged in business in that thriving little city. 

On January 5, 1909, at Burrton, this state, George T. Gray was united 
in marriage to Edith M. Gardinier, who was lx)rn in Harvey county, this 
state, March 16, 1885, daughter of Henry F. Gardinier and wife, the for- 
mer a native of Indiana and the latter of Pennsylvania. Henry F. Gardin- 
ier is a veteran of the Civil War and to him and his wife five children were 
born, those besides Mrs. Gray being as follow: William, a barber, of 
Pratt, Kansas; Ella, w^ife of H. L. Osbom, a hotel keepet of Burrton; 
Ethel, widow of H. F. Dykeman, a one-time telegraph oj^erator at Hutchin- 
son, and Ray, a barber of Greensburg, Kansas. 

To George T. and Edith M. (Gardinier) Gray two children have been 
born, George, born on November i6» 191 1, and Darius, March 5, 1913. 
Mr. Gray is a member of the Hutchinson encampment of the Spanish- 
American War Veterans' Association and takes a warm interest in ^the 
affairs of the same. 



GEORGE MADISON KOONTZ. 

The late George Madison Koontz, who was one of the best-known and 
most substantial farmers of Sumner township, prominent in civic affairs 
thereabout, a leader in church work and a good citizen, was a native of 
Illinois, born in Jasper county, that state, July 28, i860, son of Andrew 
Jackson and Julia Ann Koontz, natives of Pennsylvania, both of whom are 
still living on their old home farm in Illinois, the former at the age of 
eighty-seven and the latter at the age of eighty-six. Nine children were 
lx)rn to them, of whom only one is a resident of Reno county, David 
Koontz, a well-known carpenter at Hutchinson. 

George M. Koontz was reared on the home farm in Illinois, obtaining 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 365 

his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of his home, and 
early learned the carpenter's trade, becoming a proficient craftsman in that 
line. Upon reacliing manhood he canie to Kansas and settled in Greeley 
county, where he homesteaded a farm, which he proceeded to develop, at 
the same time continuing his work as a carpenter. He also spent a year in 
Colorado, working at his trade in Denver. In the fall of 1891 he married a 
daughter of Tobias Moore, a promirient farmer of Sumner township, this 
county, and located for a time on his father-in-law's place in that township, 
later buying the southeast quarter of section 3, in the same township. Upon 
taking possession of that farm, Mr. Koontz began the development of the 
same and greatly improved it and brought it to a high state of cultivation. 
In 1906 he erected the present comfortable farm Jiouse which marks the 
place. He had come to a position in life where he could begin to relax 
some of the more active duties of his calling, when death stopped his earthly 
labors, on September 11, 19 12. 

George M. Koontz was a good citizen and was ever mindful of the 
common good. lie was a Democrat and served the public of Sumner town- 
ship both as a school director and as a constable and in other ways did his 
part in civic affairs. He helped organize the Farmers Telephone Company 
in that part of the county and took an active part in the affairs of the same. 
Mr. Koontz was a class leader, one of the trustees and superintendent of 
the Sunday school of the United Brethren churcli and for years was devoted 
to church work, both he and his wife being regarded as among the leaders 
in good works throughout their neighborhood. Since his death, Mr. Koontz's 
widow and her sons are continuing the management of the farm, and the 
family is very well situated. 

It was on September 13, 1891, that George M. Koontz was united in 
marriage to Nannie J. Moore, who was bom in Holmes county, Ohio, 
daughter of Tobias and Hannah (Walton) Moore, both natives of that 
same state and both of whom are still living. Tobias Moore was a tanner 
and saddler, the owner of a tannery near the town of Millersburg, in Holmes 
county, Ohio, where he was in business until 1882, in which year he sold 
his establishment and came with his family to Kansas, settling in Sumner 
township, this county. Mr. Moore bought one-half of section 3, in that 
township, and there established his home. The land was unimproved, but 
with characteristic energy he lost no time in improving the same, getting 
it under cultivation, soon becoming recognized as one of the most substan- 
tial farmers in his neighborhood. He is a Republican and took an earnest 
part in local political affairs, while both he and his wife were prominent in 



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366 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

the work of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Moore was bom in 
August, 1828, and his wife was bom in 1847. They are now living at 
Tokama, Nebraska, to which place they moved upon retiring from the farm 
in 1914. To them nine children were born, of whom Mrs. Koontz was the 
fifth in order of birth, and six of whom are still living. 

To George M. and Nannie J. (Moore) Koontz six children were bom, 
namely: Clinton Sylvester, born on May 13, 1892, who married Carrie 
Murphy; Orla Howard, July 17, 1893, who married Mary Nicklaus; lona 
Edith, May 17, i8q6, who married Herschel Prough, a farmer, of Sumner 
township; Lloyd, who died in January, 190T. aged three years; Charles Kent, 
April 28, 1901 ; Olen Asa, April 4, 1905. Mrs. Koontz's elder sons are 
energetic young farmers of Sumner township and are ably performing their 
part in the common life of that community. 



ABRAHAM B. CRABBS. 

Abraham B. Crabbs, head of the firm of A. B. Crabbs & Company, real 
estate and loans, at Arlington, this county, one of the largest landowners 
in Reno county, a pioneer merchant at Arlington, president of the first bank 
organized in that town and for many years one of the most active figures in 
the development of that part of the county, is a native of Ohio, bom in 
Richland county, that state, April 9, 1851, son of Jacob M. and Catherine 
( Bollman ) Crabbs, whose last days were spent at Arlington, this county. 

Jacob M. Crabbs was a merchant in his home state, but upon the loca- 
tion of his son, the subject of this sketch, at Arlington, in 1884, he retired 
from business and the next year also came to Reno coimty, locating at 
Arlington, where he died in 1894, at the age of sixty- four. His widow 
survived him eleven years, her death occuring in 1905, she then being nearly 
seventy-five years of age. They were the parents of five children, of whom 
the subject of this sketch is the eldest, the others being John L., Albert E., 
Jennie and Maud, the latter of whom died in infancy. John L. Crabbs is 
associated with his brother, A. B. Crabb, in Arlington, and has two sons, 
Lee M., a farmer, living near Arlington, and Frank L., a merchant of that 
place. All)ert E. Crabbs, for years a well-known merchant at Arlington, 
who died in 1908, left three sons, xArthur J., a farmer, living in western 
Kansas; Harry J., a merchant in Canada, and Dr. Ralph E. Crabbs, a well- 
known dentist at Arlington. 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. 



367 



Abraham B. Crabbs spent his childhood in Adams county, Indiana, 
where he received his early schooling, and at the age of fourteen went back 
to the place of his birth in Ohio, where he began working in his father's 
store, and was there engaged until 1875, in which year he went to Toledo, 
Ohio, where he engaged in the grain commission business and was thus 
employed until he came to Kansas in 1884 seeking a location. He stopped 
at Hutchinson and after looking the situation over a bit decided to enter 
the mercantile business at the then new and promising village of Arlington, 
the center of the rich region in the west central section of the county. His 
store building, one of the first erected in the new town, was ready for 
occupancy in August, 1885, ^^^ he opened up with a general store of mer- 
chandise worth about six thousand dollars. From the very start the busi- 
ness prospered and it was not long until Mr. Crabbs was operating with a 
stock double in value his initial stock, at once taking his place as a leader 
in the commercial life of the new and thriving town, continuing as a mer- 
chant there for twenty-three years. Two years after locating in Arlington 
Mr. Crabbs organized, in 1887, the town's first bank, the Arlington State 
Bank, and was elected president of the same, which he operated for two 
years, or until he sold out to the Citizens State Bank in 1889, retaining, 
however, his financial interest in the bank. In 1889 Mr. Crabbs and brother, 
John L., erected a grain elevator at Arlington and continued operating the 
same until he sold out to the Hoffman Grain Company, of Entei*prise, in 
1904. In 1902 he became associated with J. S. Trembley in the hardware 
business and was thus connected until the firm sold out in 191 5. In the 
meantime Mr. Crabbs also had been actively interested in the real-estate and 
loan business in and around Arlington and since disposing of his other inter- 
ests has devoted his whole time to that branch of business, under the firm 
name of A. B. Crabbs & Company, and is doing very well. Mr. Crabbs is 
the owner of about four thousand acres of land, mostly in Reno county, and 
the most of which is under profitable cultivation, the various farms being 
managed by responsible tenants. 

For years Mr. Crabbs has l^een generally handicapped by failing sight 
and for several years past has been all but blind, but despite this unhappy 
affliction retains a firm grasp on his extensive business interests and has lost 
none of his aforetime energy. Mr. Crabbs exerted a strong influence upon 
the progress of affairs in the western part of the county during the early 
development of that section and was one of the chief factors in securing to 
Arlington the advantages of a railroad when the Rock Island line was being 
surveyed through that part of the country. Politically, he is a Republican 



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368 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



4 



and ever since coming to this county has been one of the leaders of the party 
in the western part of the county, but lias never been included in the office- 
seeking class. In his fraternal relations he is affiliated with the Masons, the 
Modern Woodmen and the Ancient Order of United Workmen and takes a 
warm interest in the affairs of these several organizations. Mr. Crabbs has 
never married and makes his home with his brother, John L. Crabbs, at 
Arlington. 



CORNELIUS O. CHAPIN. 

Cornelius O. Chapin, a well-known and well-to-do retired farmer of this 
coimty, one of the real pioneers of Reno county, an honored veteran of the 
Civil War, one of the oldest Odd Fellows in the state and for years actively 
interested in the general civic affairs of this section of the state, has been 
living in Hutchinson since his retirement from the farm in 1905 and is very 
comfortably situated. Mr. Chc4)in is a native of Massachusetts, a member of 
one of the old Colonial families, which is represented in widely separated 
parts of the country. The Chapin family maintains a regularly organized 
association of kinship, with headquarters in the East, and holds annual 
meetings which are very largely attended. The house in which Mr. Chapin 
was born at Chicopee, Massachusetts, September 18, 1841, was built in 1730 
and in that same house his father, Quartus Chapin, was born on October 14, 

1793. 

Quartus Chapin was reared a farmer and married Ruby Sexton, who 
was born in Somers, Connecticut, remaining in the East until 1853, ^^ which 
year he moved to Illinois. He bought two hundred and forty acres in Morgan 
county, that state, and there spent the remainder of his life, his death occurr- 
ing on March 7, 1858. He was a soldier of the War of 1812, his father 
was a soldier in the Revolution and three of Quartus Chapin's sons were 
soldiers in the Civil War. His widow returned East and her death occurred 
in Waltham, Massachusetts. They were members of the Congregational 
church and their children were reared in that faith. There w^re six of these 
children, those besides the subject of this sketch being: Lyman, Horace and 
Cornelia L., now deceased; Lucy A., who married Henry E. Steele, a watch- 
maker of Waltham, Massachusetts, since whose death she has been living at 
North Adams, in that state, and Quartus H., in the United States railway 
service, with headquarters at Chicago. 

Cornelius O. Chapin was about twelve years old when he moved with 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 369 

his parents to Morgan county, Illinois. His higher education was obtained 
at Ft. Edward, New York, and in two years attendance at Illinois College, 
JacksonviUle, Illinois. Though not twenty years old when the Civil War 
broke out he enlisted for three months service at the first call for volunteers 
and went to the front as a member of Company B, Tenth Regiment, Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out at Cairo, Illinois, at the expiration 
of that term of service. Upon the completion of his military service he 
returned to the farm and in the fall of 1863 was married. Ten years later 
he came to Kansas and has been a resident of this county ever since. He 
arrived at Hutchinson on November 9, 1873, and presendy homesteaded the 
southeast quarter of section 8, in Valley township, this county, upon which 
he and his wife established their home on February 12, 1874, and there they 
remained until their retirement from the farm and removal to Hutchinson 
in 1905. Mr. Chapin was a successful farmer and cattle raiser and for years 
was regarded as one of the most substantial and influential citizens of Valley 
township. Upon retiring from the farm he invested his capital in real estate 
and is very comfortably situated. He and his wife have a very pleasant home 
at 620 Sherman street, east, and take an active interest in the social and 
cultural movements of their home town. 

It was on September 30, 1863, at Concord, Illinois, that Cornelius O. 
Chapin was united in marriage to Mary V. Detrick, who was born at Naples, 
Illinois, March 10, 1848, daughter of Dr. Jacob H. and Hannah (Morrison) 
Detrick, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio, both 
of whom spent their last days in Hutchinson, this county. Doctor Detrick 
dying on September 28, 1902, and his widow on April 5, 1913. Doctor and 
Mrs. Detrick were Methodists and active workers in the church. The Doctor 
was a Democrat and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. To 
him and his wife two daughters were born, Mrs. Chapin having a sister, 
Catherine E., who married Clarence Willey, a prominent lumberman of 
Chicago, and was among those who lost their lives in the sinking of the 
"Lusitania." Her only child, a daughter, Catherine, is the wife of Robert 
Thorne, vice-president of the great Montgomery Ward Company at Chicago. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Chapin one child was born, a son, Charles F., who was 
born at Concord, Illinois, June 4, 1864, and who was killed by the accidental 
discharge of a gun in the hands of another person, in Valley township, this 
county, January 21, 1887. Charles F. Chapin had married Fannie Demorett, 
of this county, and their only child, Lyman H.. born in Valley township on 
(24a) 



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370 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

December 30, 1886, was killed by being run over by a loaded wagon in that 
township on November 2, 1897. 

Mr. Chapin has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows since the year 1864 and a member of the Daughters of Rebekah. 
which latter order both he and his wife joined at the same time, since 1870. 
Upon the fiftieth anniversary of his service as an Odd Fellow, Mr. Chapin 
was presented by the grand lodge of Kansas Odd Fellows with a handsome 
gold badge, suitably inscribed, the number of his years of service, "50" being 
outlined in diamonds. Mr. Chapin also is a member of Joe Hooker Post, 
Grand Army of the Republic, at Hutchinson, and for years has taken a warm 
interest in the affairs of that patriotic order. Mr. Chapin is a prominent 
meml^er of the Woman's Relief Corps and has been senior vice-president of 
that organization for the department of Kansas. Mr. Chapin is a Republican 
and ever has taken an active interest in local political affairs, but has never 
been included in the office-seeking class. 



CHARLES GIBSON. 



Charles Gibson, a well-known and progressive young farmer of Valley 
township, this county, is a native son of Reno county, haying been born on 
the homestead farm where he now lives, May 23, 1885, son of Harrison 
and Mary A. (Black) Gibson, both natives of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, 
the former born on October 1, 1840, and the latter, November 30, 1846, 
who were pioneers of this county and prominent in the development of the 
community in whfch they settled in Valley township in 1878. 

Harrison Gibson was reared in Ohio and served three years as a mem- 
l>er of an Ohio regiment during the Civil War. Upon the conclusion of his 
military service he married and bought a farm in Ohio, where he lived tmtil 
the spring of 1878, at which time he sold his farm and came to Kansas with 
his family, settling in Reno county. He bought a. quarter of a section of 
land in Valley township and there constructed a two-room sod house, in 
which the family found shelter until the present commodious farm house 
was erected in 1882. Mr. Gibson was a good farmer and his operations 
prospered, he being the owner of five hundred and sixty acres of land in 
\'alley and Clay townships at the time of his death, on August 6, 1912. 
He was a Republican and he and his wife were earnest members of the 
Methodist church, aiding in the organization of the Clay Valley Methodist 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 37I 

Episcopal church, of which he was a steward to the time of his death. His 
widow, who still survives him, is very pleasantly situated in a cottage on the 
old homestead, not far from the house in which her youngest son, the sub- 
ject of this sketch, and his family reside. There were seven other children 
in the family: Alice, who married H. P. Tidrick and lives at Emporia, 
this state; Minerva, who married Allen O. Sprowl and lives on a farm in 
Voder township, this county; Margaret, who died at the age of eighteen; 
Gertrude, who married H. T. Eales and lives on a farm in Yoder township; 
Harriet, who married Fred Sloop and lives on a farm in Clay township; 
John Walter, who married Anna Mary White and lives on a farm in Yoder 
township, and William Harrison, who lives on a farm in Valley township. 

Charles Gibson was reared on the farm on which he was bom and on 
which he still lives, and received his schooling in the Dodge school at the 
cross-roads near his home. When his father died he inherited half of the 
quarter section comprising the home farm, his mother retaining the other 
half. Mr. Gibson is a progressive and energetic yotmg farmer and is doing 
well. He is much interested in the cultivation of a better strain of horse 
flesh in his neighborhood and is the owner of a prize-winning French draft 
sire, **Buster,'' which took the sweepstakes at the Kansas State Fair in 1913. 

On^March 19, 1913. Charles Gibson w^as united in marriage to Arlena 
D. Macklin, who was bom in Valley township, this county, November 19, 
1894, daughter of H. O. and Ruth (Averrill) Macklin, the former of whom 
was also reared in Valley township, his father, B. F. Macklin, now living in 
Hutchinson, having been one of Reno county's earliest settlers, and to this 
union two children have been born, Charles Kenneth, born on May 17, 1914-, 
and Arthur Harold, August 19, IQ15. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson are members 
of the Clay Valley Methodist church and take an active interest in the various 
social and cultural activities of their communitv. 



JOSEPH CATTE. 



Joseph Catte, a well-known and substantial farmer of Langdon town- 
ship, this county, owner of two hundred and forty acres in section 17, of 
that township, has been a resident of Reno county since he was ten years 
old and has therefore been a witness of all the wonderful development that 
has marked this region within the past generation. He was bom in the 
city of Brooklyn, New York, October 29, 1868, son of Eugene and Gene- 



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372 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



rause (Abry) Catte, natives of France, both bom in Alsace, the former on 
May lo, 1828, and the latter, May t6, 1828, for years well-known residents 
of Reno county. 

Eugene Catte came to the United States in 1858 and was engaged in 
the business of gold refining at Brooklyn until the spring of 1878, when he 
came to Kansas, arriving in Reno county on March 17, of that year. He 
bought the northeast quarter of section 20, in Langdon township, and 
entered a timber claim on the south half of the south half of section 17, in 
the same township, and on the former tract established his home. While 
developing his farm he acted for some time, in pioneer days, as a freighter 
on the old Sunset trail, hauling grain from Hutchinson to Sun City and 
Lake City, on Medicine River, and bringing back firewood, for which serv- 
ice he was paid one dollar and fifty cents a load, boarding himself. As his 
farming operations progressed, however, he prospered and became a sub- 
stantial farmer. He spent the rest of his life on the Langdon township 
farm, his death occurring on October lo, 1898. Some time after his death 
his widow returned to her former home in Brooklyn and there she died or 
May 29, 1905. She was a Catholic and her children were reared in that 
faith. There were five of these children, those besides the subject of this 
sketch being as follow: Louisa, who married T. J. Brady, a patrolman ir 
New York City; Jules, now deceased, who was a tinner and galvanizer at 
Philadelphia; Louis, a farmer of Langdon township, this county, and Eugene, 
also a resident of Langdon township. 

Joseph Catte was ten years old when he came to Reno county with his 
parents in 1878 and his schooling, which had been begun in Brooklyn, was 
resumed in the district schools of Langdon township. He grew up on the 
home farm and l)ecame an excellent farmer, in due time buying a farm of 
his own in the neighborhood of the home place, the same being the timber 
claim which his father had entered years before. He also inherited from 
S. D. Wyman the south half of the west half of the northwest quarter of 
that same section and now owns a well-kept farm of two hundred and forty 
acres there, being very comfortably circumstanced. Mr. Catte is a Repub- 
lican and has taken an active interest in local civic affairs, having served as 
clerk of the school board of his home township since 1906. 

On Deceml>er 25, 1894, Joseph Catte was united in marriage in Lang- 
don^ township to MeHssa Applegate, who was born in Nodaway county, 
Missouri, October 22, 1876, daughter of Jackson and Elizabeth (Fee) Apple- 
gate, both natives of Indiana, the former born in Hamilton county, that 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 373 

State, November 29, 1834, and the latter, in Clinton county, September 3, 
1844. Jackson Applegate came to Kansas from Missouri in December, 
1886, and settled in Langdon township, this county. He bought a quarter 
of a section of land there and established his home, spending the rest of his 
life on that farm, his death occurring on January 9, 1910. His widow is 
now living in the town of Langdon. They were the parents of six children, 
those besides Mrs. Catte being as follow : Randolph, a retired farmer, 
now living in Hutchinson; Samuel, a farmer, of Plevna township, this 
county; John, a farmer, of Langdon township; Edward, of Texas, and 
William, a railroad man, of Hutchinson. 

To Joseph and Melissa (Applegate) Catte three children have been born, 
namely: Joseph Perry, born on October 2, 1895, who, on June 15, 1915, 
was appointed a cadet to the West Point Military Academy, on recommenda- 
tion of Congressman George Neely; Hazel, February 16, 1897, and Velma, 
April 4, 1899. 



PETER DECK. 



Peter Deck, member of the Ixjard of commissioners of Reno county, 
former trustee of Westminster township, a prominent pioneer of that town- 
ship and one of the best-known and most substantial retired farmers of this 
county, now living in a fine house in Abbeyville, is a native Hoosier, but has 
been a resident of this county since 1874 and has thus been a witness to and 
a particii)ant in the wonderful progress which has been made in this region 
since early pioneer days. He was born on a farm near the town of Albion, 
in Noble county, Indiana, August 6, 1850, son of Isaac and Julia (Johnson) 
Deck, both natives of Pennsylvania, who later became pioneers of Reno 
county and the latter of whom is still living here, being now in the ninety- 
first year of her age. 

Isaac Deck was born near the town of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, 
March 4, 1820, and was reared as a farmer. About 1838 he went over into 
Ohio and settled in the timber, near the town of Bryan, in Williams county, 
where he made his home until 1844, J^i which year he moved to Indiana and 
settled near the town of Albion, in Noble county, where he lived until 1858, 
when he came west and settled in northern Missouri, where he lived until 
the sentiment against all anti-slavery sympathizers in that section became so 
pronounced that he moved his family to southern Iowa in 1861 and estal> 
lishcd a new home for them. He then returned to Missouri and in 1862 



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374 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 




enlisted for service in behalf of the Union arms in Company G, Seventh 
Missouri Cavalry, with which he served for more than two years, during 
which time he was engaged in several hot skirmishes, including the battle 
of Springfield, Missouri. Upon the conclusion of his military service, Mr. 
Deck rejoined his family in Iowa and remained there until the spring of 
1876, when he came to Kansas and established his home on a quarter of a 
section of land in Westminister township, this county, where he spent the 
remainder of his life, his death occurring in October, 1898. His widow is 
still living at her home in that township, in her ninety-first year, one of the 
best-known pioneers of the west central part of the county. Isaac Deck 
took a prominent part in pioneer affairs and was a good citizen. He was 
a Republican and an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic and 
he and his wife were earnest members of the Dunkard church, in which 
faitli their children were reared. There were eight of these children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth, the others 
being Hannah, Lucinda, William, Gideon, Laura, Lincoln and Flora. 

Peter Deck was about eight years old when his parents moved from 
Indiana to Missouri and was about eleven when the family sought refuge in 
Iowa. In the latter state he completed his schooling and became a farmer 
and there he was married in 1870. In March, 1874, he came to Kansas 
and homesteaded a quarter of a section in Westminster township, this county, 
which he straightway proceeded to improve and bring under cultivation, 
soon becoming known as one of the most substantial farmers in that part 
of the county. As he prospered in his farming and stock-raising opera- 
tions, Mr. Deck gradually added to his land holdings, until he became the 
owner of a fine farm of four hundred and ninety acres and there he lived 
until 19 1 2, in which year he retired from the farm and moved to Abbey- 
ville, where he built a fine house and where he is now living, he and his 
family being very comfortably situated. Mr. Deck is a Republican and ever 
since coming to this county has taken an earnest interest in civic affairs. 
He sers^ed for some time as treasurer of Westminster township and later 
served as trustee of the same township. In 19 12 he was elected commis- 
sioner of Reno county from his district and entered upon the duties of that 
important office in January, 191 3. 

It was in 1870, while living in Iowa, that Peter Deck was united in 
marriage to Sarah Anderson, daughter of W. D. and Sarah (Louder) 
Anderson, and to this union five children have been born, Lawrence, Roy, 
Ethel, Nettie and Chester. Mr. and Mrs. Deck are active members of the 
Methodist church and Mr. Deck has served as an office bearer in that church. 



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RENO COUNTY^ KANSAS. 375 

He is a Mason and a meml^er of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and of the Woodmen, in the affairs of which organizations he takes a warm 
interest. 



JAMES W. PARISH. 



James W. Parish, a well-known and progressive merchant of Langdon, 
this coimty, has been a resident of Kansas since he was fourteen years old. 
He was bom in Springfield, Illinois, March 25, 1868, son of James and 
Amanda (Davis) Parish, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter 
of Indiana. James Parish moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana with his 
parents in his youth and at Franklin, in the latter state, married Amanda 
Davis, later moving to Springfield, Illinois, where he made his home until 
1882, in which year he came to Kansas with his family, settling at Ft. Scott, 
where he lived for about ten years. He died at Clifton, Ohio, in 1909, and 
his widow is now living at Kansas City, Missouri. They were the parents 
of six children, those besides the subject of this biographical sketch being 
as follow: C. W., a capitalist at Spokane, Washington; Eva, who married 
Isaac Bingham, a farmer, of Baxter Springs, this state; Alice, widow of 
Lew Antrim, a one-time locomotive engineer, of Kansas City; Mrs. Lucy 
Butcher, of Kansas City, and Fred, a farmer, of Baxter Springs. 

James W. Parish was about fourteen years old when he came to Kan- 
sas with his parents in 1882 and his schooling was completed in the schools 
of Ft. Scott. He then secured employment on one of the railroads running 
out of that city and for nine years was engaged as a railroad man. He then 
came to Reno county and located at Langdon, where he opened a store for 
the sale of general merchandise and has ever since been very successfully 
engaged in that business at that place, having built up a fine trade through- 
out that section of the county. His store is admirably stocked and his busi- 
ness is conducted along proij^ressive lines. 

At Catskill, New Mexico, June 4, 1894, James W. Parish was united in 
marriage to Junia Ramey, who was bom in Cowley county, Kansas, Sep- 
tember 23, 1877, daughter of William H. and Sarah (Davis) Ramey, the 
former of whom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the latter in 
Springfield, Illinois. William H. Ramey died in Trinidad, Colorado, in 
October, 1906, and his widow is now living at Ludlow, in that state. They 
were the parents of seven children, Mrs. Parish's brothers and sisters being 
as follow: Robert, deceased; Montie, a painter, of Langdon, this county; 



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376 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Gertrude, who married William Sherman, a miner, of Ludlow, Colorado; 
Wismie, who married Alex Lowe, also a Ludlow miner; Elsie, wife of 
Frank Runyon, another Ludlow miner, and Odessa, wife of Jack Sharp, 
also a Ludlow miner. To Mr. and Mrs. Parish two children have been 
born, Bessie, born at Trinidad, Colorado, October 19, 1896, who married 
R. L. Plush, a farmer, of Langdon township, this county, and Roy, bom at 
Langdon, January i, 1899. Mr. Parish is a Republican and gives close 
attention to local political affairs, but has never been an aspirant for political 
honors, preferring rather to give his undivided attention to his growing 
business interests. 



THOMAS J. RICE. 



Thomas J. Rice, proprietor of Rice's popular cafeterias at Hutchinson, 
this county, is a native of Ohio, having been born in Scioto county, that state, 
April II, 1872, son of Charles and Sarah (Kirkpatrick) Rice, both natives 
of that same state, the latter of whom is still living, making her home with 
her son, the subject of this sketch, at Hutchinson. 

Charles Rice was reared on a farm in Ohio and when the Civil War 
broke out enlisted in Company G, Ninety-first Regiment, Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry, and served three years in the Army of the East, under General 
Sheridan. He married in Ohio and remained there until 1876, in which 
year he came West with his family, settling in Holt county, Missouri, where 
he bought eighty acres of land and farmed for two years, at the end of which 
time he moved to Atchison county, same state, where he bought eighty 
acres and remained seven years. He then moved to Pawnee county, Nebraska, 
where he bought a farm of two hundred and forty acres and remained for 
ten years, at the end of which time he sold his place to advantage and moved 
to Prairie county, Arkansas, where he bought four hundred and eighty acres 
and after seven years residence there moved to the Creek Nation (now 
Rogers county, Oklahoma), Indian Territory, and had become well estab- 
lished there when he died, his death occuring in September, 1894, while 
making a visit to the Chickasaw Nation. He never had a law suit in his 
life. To Charles Rice and wife four children were born, these besides the 
subject of this sketch being, John W., a farmer, of Rogers county, Oklahoma; 
Charles J., a farmer, of Pawnee county, Nebraska, and David A., who died 
on his farm in Prairie county, Arkansas. 

Thomas J. Rice was but four years old when his parents came West 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 377 

and he grew to manhood on his father's farms in Missouri and Nebraska, 
finishing his school days in high school in the latter state. He married in 
the fall of 1894 and continued farming with his father until 1902, in which 
year he engaged in the general mercantile business in the Indian Territory 
and was thus engaged for seven years, after which he bought a farm in 
Nowata county, Oklahoma, where he made his home for three years. He 
then moved to Ford county, same state, where he remained, farming, until 
he moved to Hutchinson, where, on September 12, 19 14, he and his wife 
opened, at 12 Second avenue, east, the first cafeteria established in that city. 
So successful did this venture prove that on November 9, 191 5, Mr. and Mrs. 
Rice opened cafeteria No. 2, at 21 South Main street and have since been very 
successfully operating both places. Mr. Rice has taken an active interest in the 
general welfare of the city since moving to Hutchinson and is a member of 
the Commercial Club. He is a Republican and takes an earnest interest in 
local politics, but is not an office-seeker. He is a member of the Hutchinson 
post of the Sons of Veterans, of the Knights of Pythias and of the Odd 
Fellows. 

It was in the fall of 1894, in Pawnee county, Nebraska, that Thomas J. 
Rice was united in marriage to Nellie Sovereign, who was born in Caldwell 
county, Missouri, November 26, 1876, daughter of xA^bram and Eunice 
(Tabor) Sovereign, the former a native of Canada and the latter of Indiana. 
Abram Sovereign was but a boy when his parents emigrated from Canada 
to Indiana and settled in Porter county, that state, in the neighborhood of 
Valparaiso, where he grew to manhood and where he married Eunice Tabor, 
who was born near Valparaiso. In the latter sixties Abram Sovereign came 
West, settling in Caldwell county, Missouri, where he remained until 1896, 
in which year he moved to Pawnee County, Nebraska, where he remained 
nine years, at the end of which time he returned to Missouri and settled in 
Vernon county, that state, where he spent the rest of his life, his death 
occurring in June, 1899. His widow, who still survives, is now making her 
home in Hutchinson, this county. Seven children were born to Abram 
Sovereign and wife, as follow: Chester E., deceased; Schuyler C, of 
Hutchinson; Grant, who is associated with Mr. Rice in the oi>eration of the 
Rice cafeterias in Hutchinson ; Nettie, who married William Scott^ a farmer, 
and died in Pawnee county, Nebraska; Leonard, a farmer, of Galesburg, 
Illinois; Myrtle, who married George W. Hofsess, w^ho is associated with 
Mr. Rice in the operation of the latter's cafeterias in Hutchinson, and Fred, 
raihvay station agent and telegraph operator at Satanta, this state. 

To Mr. and Mrs: Rice three children have been born, Alvin, born in 



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378 



RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 



Prairie county, Arkansas, July 6, 1895; Fay L., born in that same county, 
May II, 1897, and Alta Eunice, born in Nowata county, Oklahoma, June 16, 
1909, all of whom are a home. The Rice's have a handsome home at 19 
sixteenth avenue, east, built in 19 15, and are very pleasantly situated. 



JOHN WILLARD CAMPBELL. 

John Willard Campbell, former trustee of Plevna township, this county, 
one of the very earliest settlers of this township, a well-known and prosper- 
ous pioneer farmer of Reno county and a director and vice-president of the 
Farmers Elevator Company of Plevna, is a native of Michigan, but has been 
" a resident of Reno county since 1873 and has thus been a witness to and 
an active promoter of the development of this section of the state since 
pioneer days. He was born at Bay City, Michigan, May 4, 1852, son of 
Noah R. and Elmira (Dixon) Campbell, both natives of the state of New 
York, who later became pioneers of Reno county and spent their last days 
here. 

Noah R. Campbell was bom at Brant, near the city of Buffalo, New 
York, January 25, 1820, and grew up and was married in Pennsylvania, 
where he was engaged in farming until 185 1, in which year, shortly after 
his marriage, he moved to Michigan and settled in Bay City, where he 
engaged in teaming and was thus engaged until 1871, when he moved to 
Royal Oak, in the same state, where he lived until he came with his family 
to Kansas, entering a quarter of a section of land in Plevna township, this 
county, on October 6, 1873, and entered a quarter section in February, 1874, 
as a timber claim; his eldest son, the subject of this sketch entering an 
adjoining quarter section at the same time, these being the first homesteads 
entered in that township. There Noah R. Campbell threw up a sod shanty 
with a roof of hay and in that humble abode he and his family s|>ent the 
winter; in the following spring erecting a small frame house, which later, 
from time to time, received additions, and this second house served as a 
home until it finally was destroyed by fire on July 2, 1897, after which a 
better and more commodious home was erected. In the spring of 1874 
Noah R. Campl)ell and his sons broke forty acres of land and planted the 
same to corn, but the grasshopj^er plague of that year rendered futile their 
first season's efforts. The next year a small crop was raised and after 
awhile the Campbells began to prosper and early became recognized as lead- 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 3/9 

ers in the pioneer life of that vicinity. Noah R. Campbell spent the rest of 
his life on that pioneer farm, but lived retired in his later years, and was 
almost wholly paralyzed for about two and one-half years before his death 
on January zjy 1892. His widow surv^ived him for more than twenty years, 
her death occurring in Montana on July 27, 19 15. They were the parents 
of six children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eldest, the others 
being as follow: Ida, who married H. A. Abbott and is now living on a 
farm in Montana; J. J., a retired farmer, most of whose time is spent in 
Denver, Colorado, and who has four children, N. Alonzo, Mrs. Nellie Smith, 
J. T. and Mrs. Cora Cox; Dean, who married John W. Hanan, a farmer of 
Plevna township, this county; Mrs. Julia A. Dunham, deceased, and Mrs. 
L. G. Mitchell, of Plevna, this county. 

John W. Campbell was reared in his native town, Bay City, Michigan, 
where he obtained his schooling and where for some time he was engaged 
as a clerk in a store. He was twenty-one years old when he came with his 
parents to Reno coimty in the fall of 1873 and he homesteaded a quarter 
of a section lying alongside his father's homestead in Plevna township, which 
he proceeded to develop, at the same time assisting his father in the develop- 
ment of his place and after the death of his father acquired the latter's home- 
stead farm, being now the owner of the full half section of land, a farm of 
three hundred and twenty acres, well imi)roved and profitably cultivated. 
In recent years he has erected a fine residence on his place and his modern 
bam and other farm buildings are in keeping with the same, Mr. Campbell 
conducting his farming operations along the latest and best-approved lines. 
He has for years taken an active part in civic affairs in that part of the 
county and for some time served as clerk of the township, later serving for 
several years as township trustee.. He also has been active in the aflfairs 
of the Farmers Elevator Company at Plevna and is the vice-president and 
one of the directors of that enterprising and progressive concern. Mr. 
Campbell is an active and earnest member of the Kansas State Historical 
' Society and has been able to contribute much valuable infonnation regard- 
ing pioneer days in this county to the reports of that body. The first post- 
office in the Plevna section of Reno county was established in the old Camp- 
bell home and was given the name of "Dean," serving the people of that 
neighborhood until the office was moved to Plevna, upon the establishment 
of that village. 

On June 2, 1888, John W. Campbell was united in marriage to Julia 
M. Dennis and to this union two sons have been born, Jason Edward and 



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380 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

Jesse Roberts, the latter of whom married Mary K. Nusser and continues 
to make his home on the old homestead place. Both sons are active and 
valuable aids to their father in the operation of the farm and are recognized 
in their neighborhood as energetic and up-to-date young agriculturists. Mr. 
Campbell is a member of the Modern Woodmen and of the Royal Neigh- 
bors and takes a warm interest in the affairs of these two organizations. 



WILLIAM L. HUDSON. 

William L. Hudson, a well-known and successful farmer and horse 
dealer, of Sylvia township, this county, is a native of Maryland, having 
been born on a farm in the neighborhood of the town of Berlin, in that 
state, on Octol>er 5, 1861, son of William S. and Julia A. (Powell) Hud- 
son, both natives of that same state, who were reared and married there 
and who made their home there until 1866, in which year, following the 
readjustments being made thereabout as a consequence of the changed con- 
ditions incident to the conclusion of the Civil War period, they moved West 
with their family and settled in Pike county, Illinois, where they lived on a 
rented farm until 1882, in which year they moved to Shelby county, same 
state, where William S. Hudson and his wife si>ent their last days, the 
former dying at the age of seventy-eight and the latter at the age of ninety- 
two. William S. Hudson and wife were the parents of seven children, two 
sons and five daughters, of whom the subject of this biographical sketch was 
the youngest and the only one to come to Kansas. 

William L. Hudson was five years old when his parents moved to IIH- 
nois and he received his education in the district school in the neighborhood 
of his early home in Pike county, meantime helping his father in the labors 
of the farm, and was twenty-one years old when the family moved to Shelby 
county in 1882. There Mr. Hudson met his future wife and in 1884 was 
married, after which he began farming on his own account, renting a farm 
in Effingham county, Illinois, where he made his home for four years, at the 
end of which time he returned to Shelby county and there made his home 
until 1892, the year of his removal to this state. It was early in the spring 
of 1892 that Mr. Hudson and his family came to Reno county, arriving here 
in March of that year, and a few months later he bought a quarter of a sec- 
tion of unimproved land in Sylvia township, just one-half mile north of the 
town of Sylvia. Later he added to this tract by the purchase of a quarter 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 381 

of a section adjoining and now has a well-kept and highly improved place 
of three hundred and twenty acres, on which he still makes his home and 
where he and his family are very comfortably situated. 

When Mr. Hudson settled on his Sylvia township place there was not 
even a fence-post on the place in the way of improvement, the whole a 
sandy plain without a tree or a building. of any sort. In 1893 ^^ t)^^!^ ^ 
email house, but later rebuilt and enlarged the house, remodeling the same 
into his present pretty dwelling, which, with the large and modern bam 
and ample orchard adjoining, situated on a gentle knoll, presents a very 
pleasing and attractive appearance to the eye of the traveler passing that 
way. In the fall of 191 5 Mr. Hudson built a new Jiouse a few rods west 
of the farm dwelling, for the occupancy of his son, Carl H. and wife, the 
former of whom is now relieving his father of the greater part of the details 
of management of the home place. For some time after locating in this 
county, Mr. Hudson confined his operations to grain farming, but later 
went into the business of breeding full-blood Percheron horse §tock and in 
that line has been very successful, there being a large and constant demand 
for the horses raised on the Hudson farm. Mr. Hudson has three full- 
blood Percheron sires and a number of full-blood mares of the same breed 
and his colts are eagerly sought by those who are desirous of improving the 
strain of their horse stock. Mr. Hudson is not only a good farmer and 
horse breeder, but is recognized as an excellent business man and is widely 
known throughout the county. He is a Democrat and a member of the 
lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Sylvia, in the affairs of 
which order he takes a warm interest. 

On July 2y, 1884, in Illinois, William L. Hudson was united in mar- 
riage to Josephine A. Brown, who was born in Macon country, that state, 
daughter of John W. W. and Mary C. Brown, the former of whom is now 
deceased, but the latter of whom is still living, making her home at Sylvia, 
this county, to which place she and her husband had moved when well pasf 
middle age. To William L. and Josephine A. (Brown) Hudson, four chil- 
dren have been bom, as follow: Harry L., who died when eighteen years 
of age; George W., who is married and lives on a farm in Sylvia town- 
ship, this county; Carl H., also married, who lives in a house neighboring 
that of ihe parental home, and who is now relieving his father of much of 
the detail work of managing the farm, and Lura A., who is at home with 
her parents. The Hudsons are well known throughout the Sylvia neighbor- 
hood and the family is held in high regard thereabout. 



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382 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

ELBERT O. ALLMON. 

Elbert O. Allmon, fomier mayor and a well-known and enterprising 
merchant of Turon, this county, who is associated in business in that flourish- 
ing little city with his father-in-law, E. O. Barker, is a native son of the 
Sunflower state, having been bom in Barber county, Kansas, October 16, 
1878, son of the Hon. Samuel J. and Zelmar (Sandifer) Allmon, both 
natives of Bollinger county, Missouri, who became residents of Kansas in 

1877: 

Samuel J. Allmon was born on October 20, 1850, and was reared on 
a farm in Bollinger county, Missouri. There he married Zelmar Sandifer, 
a neighlx)r girl, who was born in 1853, and they made their home on a farm 
in that county until the spring of 1877, at which time they came to Kansas 
and settled near Elm Mills, in Barber county, where they remained about a 
year, at the end of which time they moved to Pratt county, where Mr. All- 
mon homesteaded a quarter of a section of land near Preston, which he 
afterward sold and bought another quarter section three and one-half miles 
west of Preston and a quarter section eight miles southeast of Pratt, both 
tracts in Pratt county, which he still owns, though he has made his home 
in Preston for years. Mr. Allman has given earnest attention to civil 
aft'airs in his home county and at the last election was elected as representa- 
tive from his district to the lower house of the Kansas state Legislature. 
For nearly twenty years he has been a member of his local school board and 
most of that time has also served as treasurer and clerk of the board. For 
eight years he served the people of Pratt county in the capacity of county 
clerk and has also served several terms as township trustee and as justice 
of the peace. His wife died at Preston in 1881. They were the parents 
of three children, the subject of this sketch having two sisters. May, who 
married J. C. Sillin, a miller, of Hudson, this state, and Belle, who is at 
home with her father. 

Elbert O. Allmon received his education in the district schools of Pratt 
county and the grade schools of Preston and early entered upon his- suc- 
cessful mercantile career. His first venture as a proprietor was in associa- 
tion with E. M. Rowell, in the general merchandise business at Turon, this 
county, which partnership was maintained for two years, at the end of which 
time Mr. Allmon became connected with his father-in-law, E. O. Barker, in 
business in the same thriving little city and has ever since been thus engaged, 
the firm having a fine store on Burns street, the chief street of the city. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. ^ 383 

Ever since locating at Turon Mr. Allmon has taken an active part in public 
affairs and was elected a member of the first council after the incorporation 
of the city. So acceptable was his service in that connection that he was 
elected second mayor of the city and made an excellent record in that 
important executive capacity. He is a prominent member of the Turon 
Boosters Club and neglects no opportunity to "boost'' his home town in all 
proper ways. He is a Democrat and is well known in the councils of that 
party in Reno county. 

At Preston, Kansas, October 3, 1900, Elbert O. Allmon was united in 
marriage to Ila E. Barker, who was bom in Emporia, this state, daughter 
of E. O. and Caroline fShull) Barker, both of whom were bom in Dekalb 
county, Indiana, not far from th6 city of Ft Wayne, and who came to 
Kansas years ago. To this union four children have been bom, as follow : 
Ralph, bom on July 16, 1903; Merle, July 2, 1905; Olive, May 15, 1907, 
and Vada Joy, April 6, 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Allmon are earnest members 
of the Methodist church and take an active part in the various social and 
cultural activities of their home town. Mr. Allmon is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Modem Woodmen of 
America and takes a warm interest in the affairs of those organizations. 



BUCKNER W. DUNSWORTH. 

Buckner W. Dunsworth, one of the successful and progressive farmers 
of Reno county, was born at McComb, Illinois, June 22, 1850, and was the 
son of Nathaniel and Mildred (Waymac) Dunsworth, the later of whom 
was the daughter of Buckner Waymac. Mr. Waymac was a native of 
Tennessee, who in early life settled in Indiana and later at McComb, Illi- 
nois, where he engaged in farming until his death. The grandfather, 
Thomas Dunsworth, was a native of Ireland and later made his home in 
Illinois, where he died. 

Nathaniel and Mildred Dunsworth were the parents of the following 
children: A. J.; Thomas; Tillman and Buckner W. The parents were 
active and influential members of the Baptist church and took much interest 
in all church work. 

Buckner W. Dunsworth was educated in the common schools of Illi- 
nois and later engaged in farming. He has been married four times. He 
was first married to Sarah J. Jackson, to whom the following children were 



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384 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

born: William H., James E. and Ira. After the death of his wife he 
was married to Caroline Fowler to whom six children were bom: Alice, 
Frank, Carrie, Ellen, Lewis and Abbie. Mr. Dunsworth later married 
Carrie Davis to whom one child, Grace, was bom. Later in life he mar- 
ried Alice Spiva. 

Mr. Dunsworth came to his present farm of two hundred and forty 
acres in 1887 and here he has made a success of general farming and stock 
raising. He has devoted much of his time to the raising of Percheron and 
French draft horses and has taken many prizes at the fairs. 

Mr. Dunsworth is a member of the Baptist church and takes much 
interest in church work. He is a member of the Masonic order, having 
attained the Scottish rite degree at Wichita and the York rite at Hutchin- 
son. He is also a member of the Modem Woodmen of America. He has 
sixteen grandchildren. 



JOHN W. COMES. 



John W. Comes, one of the most energetic and progressive farmers of 
Reno county, proprietor of a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres 
in Valley township, on which he has erected the most attractive farm house 
on the "Santa Fe Trail'' within twenty-five miles; a man who not only has 
been diligent in his own business, but who has ever given his thoughtful and 
intelligent attention to public affairs, is a native of Illinois, having been bom 
on a farm in McDonough county, that state, July 21, 1857, son of Nicholas 
and Mary (Kohule) Comes, both natives of Germany, the former bom in 
Coblenz, Prussia, and the latter in Wittenburg, who became pioneers of 
Reno county and substantial and influential residents of Valley township. 

Nicholas Comes, who was born in 1829, left his native land in 1854, 
in order to escape the hated military system of that country, and landed in 
New York with just three marks (seventy-five cents) in his pocket. For a 
year thereafter he worked in the woods in the Schenectady district, at a wage 
of nine dollars the month, and then began working in a glove factory at 
Gloversville, where he met Mary Kohule, who also had come from Ger- 
many in 1854, and who was working in the same factory. They were mar- 
ried in the early spring of 1856 and straightway came West, settling in 
McDonough county, Illinois, where they bought a farm of one hundred 
acres in 1862 and there made their home until 1876, in which year Mr. Comes 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 385 

disposed of his interests there, chartered a couple of cars for the transpor- 
tation of his household goods, necessary live stock and sufficient lumber from 
which to construct a small house and he and his family came to Kansas. Mr. 
Comes bought a half section of land in Valley township and there established 
his home. With the lumber he had brought from Illinois he erected the 
best house at that time in the township and it was not long until he and his 
family were very comfortably situated on their pioneer farm. He and his 
sons quickly developed their farm, in addition cultivating quite a tract of 
adjoining land, "breaking out" five hundred acres of Virgin prairie with 
oxen, and it was not long until the Comes family was regarded as one of 
the most substantial families in the county. 

Nicholas Comes was an ardent Republican and took an active part in 
local political affairs during pioneer days, but was not an office seeker. He 
and his wife were reared as Catholics, but when the priest told Mr. Comes 
to vote for Douglas during the campaign of i860 or incur the penalty of 
excommunication he resented this form of interference with his civil rights, 
voted for Lincoln and discontinued his connection with the mother church, 
he and his wife transferring their connection to the United Brethren, later 
the Presbyterian church. Upon locating in this county they lost little time 
in encouraging the organization of a church of that denomination and in 
the spring of 1877 had the satisfaction of participating in the establishment 
of the Valley Presbyterian church, which ever since has been a power for 
good in that community. The subject of this sketch has a German Bible 
which has been in the family for nearly one hundred and fifty years. His 
mother, who is still living, now making her home at Burrton, in the neigh- 
boring county of Harvey, past the age of eighty-two, for many years has been 
active in church work and w^as a very helpful factor in the work of bringing 
about proper social conditions in the community in pioneer days. Nicholas 
Comes died in 1893. He and his wife were the parents of eight children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest, the others being as follow : 
Joseph, unmarried, proprietor of a meat market in Burrton, over the line in 
Harvey county; Edward, who died in 1895; Mollie, widow of Gus Quer- 
feld, who makes her home in Lawrence, this state; Charles, traffic manager 
for the Kansas Milling Company, at Anthony, this state; Oscar, a railway 
conductor, living in Denver, Colorado; Alma, who married John New and 
is now deceased, and Clyde, who is engaged in the retail meat business with 
his brother, Joseph, at Burrton. 

John W. Comes was reared on the farm in Illinois and received his ele- 

(25a) 'Ml 



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386 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

mentary education in the public schools of that neighborhood, supplementing 
the same by a course in the McDonough County Normal School, which he 
attended until the spring of 1876. That was the spring in which the family 
came to this county and upon his arrival here he secured a position as a 
teacher in the county schools at thirty dollars the month, for two terms con- 
ducting the school in the Lawson district, in the neighborhood of the Comes 
home. He remained at home, assisting in the development of the home 
farm, until he was twenty-five years of age. He married on December 24, 
1 88 1, and in 1882 moved to Burrton, where, with his brother, Joseph, he 
was engaged in the general merchandise business until 1887, in which year he 
sold his interest in the store and became a locomotive fireman in the employ 
of the Santa Fe Railroad Company, his run being between Newton and 
Dodge City, and was thus employed for seven years, or until the big strike 
of the American Railway Union in June, 1893. I^ ^^^ spring of 1894 he 
returned to the farm and, his father having died the year before, he bought 
half of the original homestead, one hundred and sixty acres, from the other 
heirs and there established his home. He later bought a quarter section 
adjoining on the south and now owns the east half of section 33, Valley 
township, one of the best-kept and most profitably cultivated farms in that 
neighborhood. Upon returning to the farm Mr. Comes went in rather exten- 
sively for pure-bred Shorthorn cattle and his stock for years was in wide 
demand for breeding purposes. He is a Democrat and for years has been 
active in local politics, having served as township clerk and as township 
treasurer. He was one of the organizers and a director of the Clay-Valley 
Telephone Company, an independent organization for the benefit of the farmers 
of the community which it serves, and in other ways has done well his part 
in the general activities of the community. In 1912 Mr. Comes erected a 
fine modern dwelling on his farm and all the other improvements' on the 
place are in keeping. The '^Santa Fe Trail/' the main highway through 
Reno county, passes the Comes house, which is regarded as being the most 
attractive residence to be seen on the trail for twenty-five miles. The house 
is up-to-date in every particular — sleeping porches, wide enclosed verandas, 
artistic architectural design, hot and cold water through the house — and is 
designed at every point to insure the comfort of its occupants, the family 
being thus very pleasantly situated. 

On December 24, 1881, John W. Comes was united in marriage to 
Mary I'.. Hess, who was born on March 12, 1861, in Wisconsin, daughter 
of Zachariah and Harriet (Dodge) Hess, both natives of New York state. 
Zachariah Hess was born in Herkimer county, New York, December 25, 1829, 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 387 

and died on March 22, 1916. He grew up in New York state, married 
there and became a dairyman, being thus engaged until i860, in which 
year he moved to Wisconsin, bought a farm near Janesville, in Rock county, 
that state, and there made his home until 1868. He then moved to Minnesota, 
intending to buy land in that state, but did not like the cold winters there 
and moved down into Iowa, where he si>ent a couple of winters, after 
which he came to Kansas, settling in this county in October, 1872, and 
entered a homestead in section 18, in Valley township, where he established 
his family, which was thus one of the pioneer families of Reno county. 

To John W. and Mary E. (Hess) Comes eight children have been 
bom, namely: Harriet, a trained nurse, who is the widow of J. F. Mats; 
Helen, who married Harry W. Gibson and lives on a farm on the "Santa Fe 
Trail" in Valley township, this county; Verda, married Kemper Hinds and 
lives on a farm near Hobart, Oklahoma, and they have two children, 
Kemper, Jr.. and Mary E. ; Alma, a trained nurse in the Cook county 
hospital at Chicago, and Madge, Edward, Kittie and John, who are still 
at home. Mrs. Helen Gibson is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. 
and Mrs. Comes and the other children are members of the Presbyterian 
church, of which Mr. Comes is a deacon. He has been a Mason since 1883, 
a member of the blue lodge at Burrton ; a member of the commandery at 
Hutchinson and of the consistory, Scottish Masons, and Midian Temple, 
Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Wichita. He 
also is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and in his lodge 
affiliations takes much interest. 



WILLIAM H. BURGESS. 

William H. Burgess, a well-known and well-to-do farmer of Walnut 
township, this county, proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and §ixty 
acres three miles west and three miles south of Sterling, and one of the most 
infiiicntial men, politically, in that part of the county, is a native of Ken- 
tucky, horn in the city of Henderson, that state, July 26, 1861, son of the 
Key. J. G. and K. J. CGoyer) Burgess, the former a native of Kentucky 
and the latter of South Carolina, who are now living at Columbia, Missouri. 

The Rev. J. G. Burgess has been actively engaged in the Baptist min- 
istry since he was twenty-one years of age. He was born in Franklin 
county, Kentucky, his father, James G. Burgess, also a native of that 



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388 RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 

county, having been a farmer there all his life. Grandfather Burgess lived 
to be ninety-eight years old. He was an earnest Baptist and his son was 
early devoted to the ministry of that church, being given a liberal education 
at Bowling Green. During the Civil War the Rev. J. G. Burgess served as 
a chaplain in the Confederate army, in Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's command. 
For some years he was stationed at Henderson, Kentucky, pastor of a church 
at that place, but not long after the close of the war accepted a call to 
Missouri, where he has lived ever since, his present home being at Columbia, 
that state. His wife was born near Charleston, South Carolina, daughter 
of Daniel Goyer, a native of Pennsylvania, who became a well-to-do farmer 
in the Charleston neighlx)rhood, later moving to luka Springs, in that same 
state, where his last days were spent. To the Rev. J. G. Burgess and wife 
six children were born, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest and 
all of whom are living, the others being as follow : Benjamin, J. D., Joseph 
D., Sallie A. and Julia W. 

William H. Burgess was but a child when his parents moved to Mis- 
souri and his schooling chiefly was obtained at Saline, that state. He became 
a farmer and in 1883 came to Reno county. The next spring he married 
the daughter of one of Reno county's pioneers and began farming on his 
o\vn account, but did not locate on his present farm in section 12 of Walnut 
township until i8g8. There he has made his home ever since and has done 
very well in his farming operations, long having been regarded as one of 
the substantial citizens of that part of the county. In addition to his gen- 
eral farming, Mr. Burgess has given considerable attention to raising live 
stock, making a si)ecialty of Durham cattle and Poland China hogs. Of 
late he has gone in somewhat extensively for Cottswold sheep and sees 
promise of profit in that direction. Mr. Burgess is an ardent Democrat and 
ever since coming to this county has taken an active interest in local political 
affairs. Since 1903 he has been the Democratic committeeman in his pre- 
cinct and has given his most thoughtful attention to the duties of that posi- 
tion, with the result that his precinct is the banner Democratic precinct in 
Walnut township and Mr. Burgess has come to be recognized as a fore- 
sighted and astute ]X)litical leader in his community. He has taken an 
earnest interest in local enterprises generally and is a stockholder in the 
Farmers Elevator Company at Sterling. Mr. Burgess has improved his 
farm in admirable sha|>e and carries on his operations according to modem 
methods. In 1905 he erected a comfortable, up-to-date house on his place, 
replacing his former residence, and in the following year built his present 
well-equipped barn. 



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RENO COUNTY, KANSAS. 389 

It was on March 2, 1884, that William H. Burgess was united in mar- 
riag:e to Martha A. Jacobs, who was bom/on July 21, 1864, daughter of 
Samuel Jacobs and wife, who canie to Reno county in 1873, and to this 
union one child has been lx)rn, a son, D. L. Burgess, born on March «, 1888, 
who is a valuable assistant to his father in the operation of the home farm. 
Mr. Burgess is a Mason and a member of the Brotherhood of American 
Yeomen and in the affairs of both of these organizations takes a warm 
interest. 



MONROE COLEMAN. 



Monroe Coleman, a well-known and prosperous farmer and stockman 
of Sylvia township, this county, is a native-born Hoosier, having been born 
on a farm in Pike county, Indiana, September 19, 1863, son of Francis 
Henry and Elizabeth (Parker) Coleman, both natives of that same county, 
members of prominent pioneer families in that vSection of the Hoosier state. 

Francis H. Coleman was a son of Conrad Coleman, one of the earliest 
settlers in southern Indiana, he having settled in P